ISLAMABAD: Fruit vendors sitting in front of government hospitals in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad charge higher rates from people taking advantage of their misries.
Vendors set up stalls near the entrance gate of hospitals including Polyclinic, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Holy Family and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Hospital from where attendents and visitors of patients prefer to buy fruits to save their time.
Shahid Shah, a brother of a patient admitted at Polyclinic hospital said, “I cannot leave my brother alone and try to get food from the nearest place so, I do not have any other option to buy fruit from these vendors who are the selling substandard stuff at higher prices”.
Talking to APP Qasim Ali, another relative of a patient said, “I come to visit my cousin Faisal Malik, who is admitted in the PIMS hospital. I bought fruits from a vendor but he charged me double price”. He complained that Mangoes are available for Rs. 80 per kg in market but these vendors are selling Mangoes at Rs 130 per kg.
A fruit vendor, Aslam Habib, when asked about the high prices said, prices in the fruits mandi were higher today and fruits are parishable commodities, so it is not possible to sell them less than the purchasing price.
He said, “We cannot store fruits and all vendors buy fresh fruits daily from `Mandi’, so they have to follow daily rates”.
Customers demanded that the concerned authorities should pay heed to this issue immediately and give releif to people who are already under stress due to patients health conditions and other related issues.