Trichy: The mercury level has begun soaring and crossed 40 degrees Celsius in Trichy, forcing people to make a beeline for refreshment centres to beat the heat. While tender coconut is dearer due to the heavy demand and poor supply compared to last year, people, by and large, say they prefer buttermilk and lemon juice that are comparatively cheap. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the temperature in Trichy that touched 40 degrees Celsius on Thursday is likely to reach 41 degrees Celsius by March 11.
Independent weather bloggers claimed that this summer season will be the toughest after 2016. “There is a slight possibility of drizzling in Trichy and the central region on Saturday due to wind rotation but after that temperature will gradually go beyond 41 degrees Celsius till March-end,” N Selvakumar, an independent weather observer told TOI. To prevent dehydration, the city folk are thronging juice centres and tender coconut shops. As the demand for tender coconuts is high and the supply from delta districts has stopped post Cyclone Gaja, traders now depend on supply from Pollachi and Coimbatore districts. While tender coconut was available at Rs 35 apiece last year, the price has soared to Rs 50-60 in the city.
“Since a 200-ml packet of buttermilk is available at Rs 5, people will prefer buttermilk. Our sales have been picking up in the last couple of weeks,” said K Dhandapani, a buttermilk seller at Central bus stand. Apart from buttermilk, people also prefer lemon juice that is available for Rs 10. Due to the demand, the price of a kilogram of lemon has climbed to Rs 45, while one lemon is priced between Rs 4 and Rs 5. “Besides buttermilk, people can consume watery fruits. Drinking plenty of water is a must,” said Dr S Sakthivel, an endocrinologist in the city. As per data available with IMD, such high temperature in March was recorded last in 2016, when the state witnessed one of the worst-ever droughts in 140 years.