(Photo: PTI)
(Photo: PTI)

Opinion | Bulbs of fortune

Onion prices have crossed 100 per kg in some parts of the country, partly due to unseasonal rains that destroyed crops

As onion prices surge across India, it’s not just the common man who is getting teary eyed. Even the police are feeling the heat. That’s because thefts of the bulb are on the rise. Bizarre as it may sound, such cases are being reported from different parts of the country. In Surat, Gujarat, several sacks of onion were reportedly stolen from a shop. A similar incident was reported in West Bengal’s Asansol, while in another case a truck carrying onions from Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh disappeared midway, only to be found emptied of all its cargo.

Onion prices have surged lately, crossing 100 per kg in some parts of the country. This is partly due to unseasonal rains that destroyed crops. But the annual surge suggests that a lot of work to fix the food distribution network remains incomplete. New Delhi recently extended prohibitions on onion stocks that traders are permitted to hold; it also banned exports of onions and is importing them to boost local supplies. These initiatives may offer relief once shipments arrive next month. But a lasting solution would require fast-pacing work on supply chains. Until that happens, this recurring annual ritual is unlikely to end.