Phew! Soaring prices turn sour for grape fair visitors

Phew! Soaring prices turn sour for grape fair visitors

This time all varieties of grapes vanished from the vines within five days

Rangareddy: As usual, the Grape Research Station, Rajendranagar, is again hosting an annual exhibition-cum-sale of a variety of grapes in a few days. However, the event this time begins with a great cry and little wool.

Unlike previous events, when the exhibition was open to all for at least two weeks, this time all varieties of grapes vanished from the vines within five days. It was found that a few varieties were displayed this time at the station, which is spread over a vast area earmarked for grape research.

The station is part of the Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University, near Premavathipet village, where the new high court building was proposed recently by the government.

When in the past more than 50 varieties of grapes were displayed, the present event saw not more than a dozen in the yard. They are being sold at exorbitant prices, much to the chagrin of visitors.

The excited visitors who stepped into the station to enjoy the fruit yard and tempting berries, were later heard complaining that the varieties, which are generally up for grabs in local markets or roadside at Rs 50 a kg, are being sold at Rs 300 at the station.

“Although we are regulars and enjoy visiting the station with a tempting bunch of grape varieties every year, what we are witnessing today is a depleting number every year.

More surprising are the rate cards found suspended at the event site that categorically say any variety is Rs 300 per kg.

It is something like ‘Numaish’ where prices of stuff outside the gates are something different than the one we are offered inside,” contended Mahender, a visitor.

“The station that is mandated to promote grape varieties through research and provide a more affordable crop in the State, is working devoid of purpose except raising some varieties that have no demand and are merely confined to yearly exhibitions,” said Mohammed Khaleel, another visitor.

Argued a visitor, “While the city markets are flooded with commercial varieties of berries that are generally considered unhealthy due to the use of prohibited pesticides, the station should offer a more viable and healthy fruit to replace with chemical-induced varieties up for grabs in markets. However, nothing is being done in this direction.”

The contacted officials at the station declined to comment over the exorbitant rate being charged at the exhibition-cum-sale.

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