More than 30 autos, pushcarts crowd both sides of Krishnaraja Boulevard
Mysore/Mysuru: With summer peaking, tender coconut is suddenly in demand. And not even the booming aerated drink business can douse the demand for tender coconuts.
A cool tender coconut on a hot day is more than comforting and this is the reason why a couple of areas in Mysuru city are dotted with goods autos selling the sweet nut. Especially the Krishnaraja Boulevard — from the Oval Grounds till the sides of Mysuru Court Complex — where one can find at least 30 autos full of fresh coconuts quenching the thirst.
The season has just set in and almost all the vendors here are doing roaring business. Earlier, there were hardly three to four tender coconut vendors who used to do business here and they used to place the nuts on the ground. But now it is the advent of goods autos who get the nuts directly from the growers.
They station themselves at strategic points early in the morning and are ready to serve the customers who start coming from 10 am or so. The business peaks as the clock strikes 12 and the tempo is maintained till about 5 pm.
Sale to peak in April
As of now, the prices range from Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 and according to vendors, the prices may hit a high in April-May. These vendors were out of business for the last two years due to lack of movement of people and various other restrictions. But now they are back with the bang. Only fresh coconuts are sold for Rs. 30 while nuts that are a day old are sold for Rs. 20 or Rs. 25.
Tender coconut water and fruit juices, including lime soda and sugarcane juice, are the conventional options preferred by the people. In addition, buttermilk is a popular choice. Watermelon, pineapple and cucumbers are much-loved preferences consumed as cut fruit pieces to prevent dehydration.
Apart from Krishnaraja Boulevard, other prominent places where one can find these goods auto tender coconut sellers are Lalitha Mahal Road, Chamundi Hill Road Junction, near Police Bhavan, from DFRL to the new DC’s Office at Siddarthanagar, Valmiki Road, Paduvarahalli Junction and Vishwamanava Double Road.
The vendors are basically villagers who have goods autos. They get tender coconuts from places including Nanjangud, Mandya, Pandavapura, T. Narasipur, Suttur and surrounding areas that generally grow coconuts. “Rs. 15 is paid to the grower per nut and we bear the transportation cost, plucking costs and other overheads to sell the coconut at Rs. 25 or Rs. 30 to earn a marginal profit,” said Basavanna of Rammanahalli who is a regular at Krishnaraja Boulevard.
The demand for tender coconut is expected to increase in the coming days with the increase in temperature and humidity. Tender coconuts are naturally available drink and there is no adulteration in it.
Other fruits too in demand
Apart from tender coconuts, there is demand for banana, sapota, grapes, strawberry, mosambi, pineapple and watermelon, another fruit vendor said.
The price of tender coconut is expected to touch Rs. 40 as people are becoming more health conscious, many depend on tender coconuts, buttermilk and natural fruit.
Watermelon, rich in vitamins and minerals, is a good way to beat the heat. Some people like it simply cut into pieces while others sprinkle spicy masala on the cut fruit to enhance the taste. There are two types of watermelons that come to Mysuru these days — one is the greenish and other is dark green variety that is called ‘Sugar Queen’.
Though most of the watermelons are yet to ripen and some of them are bland in taste, the demand for the fruit is high. A kilogram is sold anywhere between Rs. 15 to Rs. 30. KRS Road, near ESI Hospital, near Doctors Corner in Gokulam, Kukkarahalli Lake Road, near Kalamandira, on Bogadi Road near Manasagangothri entrance (Kuvempu Statue), near Apollo BGS Hospitals, near Teresian College, LIC Office – Bannimantap, near All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) near Hebbal Raitha Santhe, Kesare-Rajendra Nagar Circle are some of the places where one can get watermelons.
Villagers make profit
Boxes of guava, sapota, grapes and strawberry are brought from Mandi Mohalla, Boti Bazaar and Aane Sarot Markets at wholesale rates and are sold for a profit in the retail market on the roadsides. Predominantly, these fruits are purchased wholesale by villagers of Rammanahalli, Vajamangala, Mellahalli, Udbur, Jayapura who come in their cycles as early as 4 am. They come to the wholesale markets at 5 am, purchase the fruits and promptly land on roadsides in the city centre to sell the fruits. After a day-long sale, they either return to their homes or retire for the day in a park to start another day the next morning.