Visakhapatnam: Even with summer ending, ice apples in short supply

Ice apple (Thaati Munjalu) is one of the most desired option to overcome the pains of summer.

Visakhapatnam: When the temperature soars and the blistering heat becomes unbearable, people search out for natural coolants to get some relief. For many of them, ice apple (Thaati Munjalu) is one of the most desired option to overcome the pains of summer. It is, however, becoming very difficult for one to find the nutritious fruit in city markets. They were available in ample quantity some years ago.

Ice apple used to flood the market with vendors occupying the footpaths on busy stretches along the roads in the city from March to May. They used to make good money selling the fruit in summer while satisfying the urge of customers. With cases of heatstroke incidents coming to light, city residents try to ensure preventive measures are in place to keep them hydrated. Ice apples are ideal to help prevent dehydration with their large water content, serving as an energiser.

When asked about reasons for the fruit not being found in the market these days, Sanyasi, a vendor, who was spotted on the beach road near Lawson’s Bay colony while trying to find one, said, “We are ready to pay high price to buy the fruit, but it is hardly available now on the city outskirt. And, bringing it from far off places means a higher transportation cost and that will leave a narrow margin of returns for the hard work.

“Hiring an auto-rickshaw, I came all the way from Anandapuram after lifting the fruit from Tagarapuvalasa. The cost price is also high. Even if I sell it at Rs 25 per dozen, there is not much profit. The fruit is highly perishable.” rued the old man. A farmer leader, Ch Narsinghrao said, “The farmers would generally get the fruit from the city outskirts like Tagarapuvalasa and from Bhogapuram (Vizianagaram). “However, the palm trees on the outskirt are being chopped off for real estate projects and other developmental projects. Besides, new palm tree plantation is being taken up because of various factors involved.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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