Rising Cost, Population…

Recently i was speaking to quite a persons in Chennai to check on the ground realties on cost of living. To say atleast its not encouraging and i wonder how a common man is surviving.


Consider this, a KG of apple is Rs 100, Rice at 36 /kg, Milk a litre cost 23-24 , Oil almost touched 100 and now retreated to Rs 70. Basmati rice branded  are costing anywhere between 80-100. Earlier in 2006 i remember buying raw rice for 21, basmati for 40-45 , milk at 13 per liter, oil was around 60. Mini Coke or Pepsi cost Rs 9 and earlier i remember it was Rs 6.

Got to know bus travel has tremendously increased with average ticket around Rs 10-12 for deluxe bus travel. Well its the same slow travel but higher priced. A simple 1km ride in share auto cost Rs 10 which was earlier only 5.

I do attribute a lot of these high cost due to recent spending power of IT folks. While they could afford earlier now things have changed even for them but that did not reduce the price of daily essentials.  I was recently seeing a advt in TV for Religare pension plan which said Plan now and be prepared to buy bus ticket for Rs 500.

I think those days will come faster then we think. Sooner 1000 rupees will lose its value and people will draw 1 Lakh rupees from ATMs much like its happening in Zimbabwe.Money is flowing like Water and with rising population and cost, its any bodies guess Chennai is slowly becoming pricy along with other metro’s like Mumbai and Delhi.

I wonder how people are paying Rs 70 for a Dosa at Sarvana Bhavan, even though i am a big fan of its taste, i simply dont encourage its high pricing.


  1. senthil

    Yes I do agree on the price rise and cost of living increase in chennai. Natural correction is to happen soon. take the case of a person earning about 10000 rs with kids. its very difficult to lead a decent life with cost escalation in every front ranging from school,food,electricity,transportation and rental/mortgage payment. Chennai bcos of real estate price escalation the rent has reached a all time high . with credit squeeze and IT slow down all these will have a natural correction but will not come back to 2006 level though..

  2. gone_mad

    Exactly my thoughts!
    I was wondering what the cashiers and clerks of regular companies are up to these days?

    2006 – yeah, I fondly remember buying basmati rice for 40 Rs, Milk at 13Rs, etc.,
    It seems like only NRIs, people supported by NRIs, black money can survive in Chennai in the future 😉
    First it was like only NRIs could afford a luxury premium villas in Chennai, later it was like only NRIs could afford a flat in Chennai city, of late it has been like only NRIs could afford a flat in and around Chennai, suburbs…
    and it is gonna be only NRIs can afford Chennai’s cost of living in future.
    God save us!!!!

  3. I completely agree with you on this man! Chennai is a very nice place to stay, but it is indeed very expensive. I stay in T Nagar and I feel that Chennai is more expensive that Mumbai (except for the house rents).
    I wouldn’t attribute the high prices to inflation, as I feel that people in Chennai are wealthier than their counterparts in most of the other big cities of India.

  4. K.R.Rangarajan

    Sonia Gandhi still say that is the government for the AAM ADMI.What an irony!!!!

  5. Rajeswari Sundaresan

    Right. Dosa in Saravana Bhavan T.nager is Rs.138 .I fainted see the menu card. I am Chennaite….and cherish to be here always. But why the hell cost of living is elevating like this!!! All the more when Chennai is not developing at a pace like Mumbai / Delhi beucase of our partiality government.

  6. saver

    obviously if people are willing to pay then price will rice first people should stop eating outside, why don’t they prepare dasa in their home it would cost them 5 rupees.

  7. GPriya

    Well.. I am an NRI and I do visit Chennai once a year as it is my home. Amazingly what I found during my trips, is that the local chennaites spend more money than NRIs, when I count every penny I spend, my friends and family are more generous in spending money on clothes (though they had plenty and keep on buying) , shoes and eating out. A friend with her hubby and two daughters eat out every weekend by spending approximately Rs.600 + and on top of it, the auto charges to goto restaurant and back. The total income of that family is only Rs.13000. I was shocked with few other incidents like this, even pensionmers spend more money than income earners. Also, the interest in eating everything, wearing all kinds of trendy expensive clothes and buying all kinds of junk stuff is enormous in everybody irrespective of the economic affordability. They just don’t know the concept of spending money when there is a need, not otherwise.
    In fact, the NRIs are more careful in spendinmg money and always save and invest ion properties, mutual funds, stocks, bonds etc., as they are aware of the fact that the job and future is not certain anywhere in the world and hence securing for the rainy day is a must. The wreckless spending habits of the locals has to stop to lead a better affordable life.

  8. gomathi

    I agree, eating out has become a habit, and when there are takers the pricing is naturally high. We have to resolve not to eat out and our children have to be trained so cos basically for children it is becoming a demonstation effect, they are fond of bragging amonst their friends group on such luxuries….We have to secure their health too.

  9. Sridhar

    GPriya is right on. People who left 10, 20 years ago for jobs overseas are still in the old mindset (when it comes to handling rupees) and are appalled at prices for hotel, food and transportation when we come back for periodical visits. real estate prices (and because of it, the hotel prices) have reached obscene levels. A hotel costing several thousand rupees a day doesn’t often stand up to a budget hotel costing $25-50 in USA. Because of this the NRIs who come for visits often hold their purses tight.

  10. I completely agree with this. This is the high time. The government needs to do something.

  11. Narayan

    Priya is spot on.
    myself a NRI shocked to see how our Cities have become so much Americanized, while the Americans themselves have now started adopting our methods of Saving Money.

  12. vimalan

    The article is wholly true .. even if it is a bit exaggerated. A ride in a share auto costs Rs.10 which previously cost only Rs.5 or Rs.7. The rise in the fare was then justified by the steep rise in fuel costs.. now that the fuel costs have come down, the fare still refuses to come down. How are we going to check this ? This is a not a government enterprise or a scheme, so formal protests cant be made.. yet the whole of chennai is flooded with share autos inevitably.. this ends up pinching the pocket of the average middle class who use the share autos everyday .. three more bucks for each trip sounds insignificant, but a to and fro trip daily calls for an extra six rupees .. coupled with the price rise in other very basic things like a glass of tea which costs Rs.4 minimum compared to Rs.3 an year ago , ends up affecting the masses .. Chennai is slowly losing its image of being a relatively conservative and cheaper metro and is going the bangalore way .. paving the way for widespread discontent

  13. Mohi


    Does this mean that the middle class is melting down to lower middle class and a new upper middle class is created in Chennai ?

    I see that in germany where i live for past 10 years , standards of living is declining ( not drastically but ) , people have less money to spend here, compared to 10 years back.


  14. manikantan ravi

    The ruling govt. whichever the party may be, interested to develop chennai only. While the entire tamilnadu faces powercut, chennai is free from cut. People from all parts of tamilnadu have migrated to chennai. Both T nagar and Purasaiwalkam have become shopping areas. residents cant live. With growing migrant population, chennai cant withstand after sometime. The solution is as MGR pointed out, the govt. should decentralise its powers to other districts and also develop southern districts equally. For anything and everything with govt., the person in Nagercoil has to come to chennai all the way. what is the need. the policy makers should think.

  15. Robert

    There will be no surprise in future, that only high class and below poverty will be available, we need to think about agriculture and revolutionary farming to overcome this issue (industrialized farming- shorter time and high yield crops with hi tech machinery and large integrated cultivation) to cut down the food prices.

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