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Hilsa fish prices soar ahead of Bengali New Year, middle class consumers bear the brunt

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By TC News Desk

Agartala, 13th April 2024:   As the Bengali New Year approaches, markets across the state have been flooded with the much-coveted Hilsa fish, a staple in festive feasts. However, the soaring prices have left many wondering if this delicacy will grace their tables this year.

Despite the ample supply of Hilsa, particularly from the renowned fishing grounds of Chandpur, Bangladesh, the cost remains prohibitively high for the average middle-class consumer. In the bustling markets of the capital, vendors display an array of Hilsa, varying in size and price. While the frozen variety offers a slightly more affordable option, fresh Hilsa commands a premium, with prices ranging from Rs 1700 to Rs 1800 per kilogram.

A local fishmonger revealed that refrigerated Hilsa is available for Rs 1400 to Rs 1500 per kilogram, a slight reprieve for those unable to afford the fresh catch. However, the price hike has been significant in the lead-up to the New Year, with an increase of five to six hundred taka per kilogram, leaving consumers and the fisheries department in a quandary.

The Battala market, known for its bustling trade, has seen prices skyrocket, with allegations of price manipulation by unscrupulous traders. Despite the outcry, there has been a lack of stringent action to curb these practices. The responsibility to regulate prices falls on the fisheries department, yet their apparent indifference has led to accusations of enabling dishonest traders to exploit the common man.

As buyers reel from the sticker shock of Hilsa prices, the question remains: Will the authorities step in to ensure fair pricing, or will the middle class be left to celebrate the New Year without this traditional delicacy?

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