Soaring temperatures trigger ice price hike in Rawalpindi

Price of lemons also go up to Rs600 per kg due to high demand for lemonade

Qaiser Shirazi May 20, 2024
The establishments were closed due to poor cleanliness standards. PHOTO: FILE


As the summer heat intensifies, the price of ice has surged across the city, accompanied by a significant increase in the sale and cost of unhealthy ice balls, colourful sugary drinks, ice creams, and other refreshments in the Twin Cities.

The price of lemons has also gone up to Rs600 per kg due to the high demand for lemon water. Solid ice is being sold at Rs50 per kg, while hollow ice is priced at Rs60 per kg.

The demand for ice in Rawalpindi and Islamabad has reached record highs, prompting all four ice factories in Rawalpindi to operate round-the-clock. The number of loader vehicles supplying ice has increased, and temporary stalls selling ice have emerged in bazaars and trading centres throughout the cities. In the open market, a glass of lemon soda is now Rs150, a large glass is Rs170, and a glass of tamarind prune juice is Rs200. Various harmful colorful juices are being sold for Rs30 to Rs50, with hundreds of carts set up near schools, streets, neighborhoods, workers' camps, and small markets.

Sugar cola is being sold for Rs80 and Rs100 per glass. Ice cream is available for Rs30, Rs50, and Rs100 and is being sold on carts throughout the streets, leading to health issues among the people. The severe heat wave has also prompted citizens to install cold water bottles in streets and markets. Last year, ice was Rs30 per kg, but prices have since doubled. A kilogramme of ice-cold water is consumed or melts within an hour. Traders and shopkeepers spend Rs150 to Rs200 worth of ice daily for shop coolers.

The extreme heat has driven up the prices of refrigerators and air conditioners. Despite the intense weather, the district administration has not arranged for cold water anywhere in Rawalpindi. Water coolers in offices only provide warm water.

Citizens Amjad Ali and Shaukat Mehmood have expressed their concern, stating that ice is a necessity for poor families and labourers. They urge the administration to reduce the price of ice and restore it to last year's rate of Rs30 per kg.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2024.


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