Not only liquor prices, but the prices of tobacco products are also touching the sky following the lockdown and consequent lack of transportation in old Adilabad district areas. The existing ban on many tobacco products in Telangana has only added to black market value of these commodities.
People addicted to smoking or chewing tobacco are spending huge sums to purchase them in villages and towns alike.
Non-tribals are the ones mostly running the tobacco business, including the banned Amber and gutka, particularly in the agency areas. Many Adivasis are addicted to chewing tobacco and smoking beedi. The habit, passed on through their forefathers, has become part of their culture.
An Amber tobacco sachet used to sell for `9 earlier. It is now costing `60 in the agency areas. Same is the case with Vimal gutka packets. They are being sold for Rs 9 against the earlier price of just Rs 3 in villages.
Supari used to sell for Rs 200 per kg earlier. It is now being sold for Rs 500. Supari is the main ingredient in making Karra. Even loose tobacco, which is popular in agency areas, is in great demand. Many tobacco addicts are struggling for getting their daily nuts to crack and chew, though being well aware of their ill effects.
Kursenga Yashwanth of Indervelli mandal headquarters says prices of tobacco products have touched the sky during the lockdown. He points out that some of the Adivasis are so addicted to chewing tobacco or smoking beedi that they become restive when they are not available.
Police are, however, continuing their operations against banned tobacco and have seized the product at various places during the lockdown....