Apni mandis reopen in Chandigarh
Apni mandis opened in Chandigarh for the first time since March 2020 on Monday.
Although there was a lukewarm response, with people apparently wary of visiting a crowded market, the low prices came as a big respite from that being charged by vendors.
Potatoes, which are available for ₹25 per kg from roadside vendors, were being sold for just ₹10 per kg. Tomatoes were also availanle for almost half the price, at ₹20 per kg. Officials said the difference was because locally grown potatoes and tomatoes were being directly brought to the mandis. However, onion was available at the same price, ₹40 per kg. Residents, who did make it to the mandi, were happy because of the cheaper prices.
Sukhbir Singh, a resident of Sector 44, said he regretted buying vegetables on Sunday as he was now getting better prices at the mandi in Sector 45.
However, the mandi had many vacant stalls. Satbir Singh, an auction recorder for Punjab Mandi Board, said: “This is just the beginning, which is why the footfall is less than half of the usual. We expect that within a week or so, the business will improve.”
Farmers who came to the mandi were also a relieved lot. Talwara Singh from Mohali said: “Earlier, it was hard for us to find buyers for our vegetables, and we couldn’t sell them by ourselves in Chandigarh. Apni mandis are a free and fair way for us to reach customers.”
Lallan Kumar, another vendor, said: “We charge fair prices and people will start coming once they see the quality of vegetables.”