Kali Puja

KOLKATA: The price of red hibiscus, an essential commodity for the rituals of the forthcoming Kali Puja festival, has skyrocketed almost five times during the last one week in West Bengal.

Flower traders said that because of the early arrival of wintry weather this time the production of red hibiscus has been affected to a great extent which has resulted in an abnormal increase in the price of the product.

“Generally, the price of red hibiscus rises a bit before the Kali Puja every year. However, currently the product is selling in the retail market at Rs 350 and Rs 400 for every 1,000 pieces, against the price between Rs 40 to Rs 60 for every 1,000 pieces a couple of weeks ago,” said a city- based flower retailer.

Flower retailers apprehend that the retail price of red hibiscus will start rising further from Saturday and will reach its peak on Sunday, the day of the Kali Puja. “I will not be surprised if the price of the product touches Rs 1,000 for every 1,000 pieces or one piece at Re 1 on the day of the festival,” he added.

Operators in the flower trading circuit said that the abnormal rise in the price of red hibiscus this time has been a result of the chain increase in the price of the products. “Because of the early entry of the winter and lesser production, the florists are selling that product at premium price to the wholesalers, who are selling the product at even higher prices to retailers. Naturally, to the end buyer the price becomes so exorbitantly high,” the flower trader said.

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