Ludhiana administration cancels licences of 7 arhtiyas for flouting orders
Were caught selling vegetables and fruits during night hours at the sabzi mandi near Jalandhar bypass on days declared closed by the administration.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 03:40 IST
The market committee has cancelled licences of seven arhtiyas who were caught selling vegetables and fruits during night hours at the sabzi mandi near Jalandhar bypass on days declared closed by the administration.
As per officials, the licences were cancelled on Tuesday following the recommendations of committee chairman Darshan Lal (Laddoo) Baweja. Committee secretary Deepak Sharma said the arhtiyas whose licences had been cancelled included Walia and Sons, Nitish Fruit Company, Shivam Trading Company, Laksh Trading Company, Ashok Kumar and Company, Chaman Lal-Prem Nath and Om Prakash-Pradeep Kumar. Baweja said they had received complaints that some arhtiyas were involved in illegal operations during night hours and closed days.
For reducing rush at the market amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the administration had decided that arhtiyas could visit the mandi only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and sell vegetables and fruits to ward vendors from 4am to 10pm everyday at designated sites. No street vendor will be allowed to enter the market.
However, videos showing the arhtiyas selling vegetables to street vendors during night went viral. The Basti Jodhewal police had also arrested four vendors, who had purchased vegetables from the market during night hours on April 17.
Following investigation, notices were served on the arhtiyas seeking reply. It is the first time that strict action has been taken against the arhtiyas for violating the norms.
ARHTIYA ASSOCIATION OPPOSES ACTION
Condemning the action against arhtiyas, Arhtiya Association president Gurkamal Singh Ilu said, “Cancellation of licences is a wrong decision as arhtiyas were only transporting fruit, as allowed by the market committee. No sale or purchase was being made in the market and the union will raise the matter after all the arhtiyas, who have been home-quarantined, resume work.”
50 ARHTIYAS HOME- QUARANTINED
After district mandi officer (DMO) Jasbir Kaur had tested positive in the middle of April and following suspicions that virus victim ACP Anil Kohli had also contracted it while he was deputed at the mandi, the administration and the health department have home-quarantined around 50 arhtiyas working in the sabzi mandi, said Gurkamal Singh.
Sub-inspector Arshpreet, her driver ASI Sukhdev Singh and the gunman of Kohli had also contracted the virus while they were deputed with ACP Kohli.
FOUR TRUCKS IMPOUNDED FOR UNLOADING BANANAS ILLEGALLY
Baweja said committee officials have confiscated four trucks, owners of which were illegally unloading bananas in the market. Truck owners had got the permission to unload the fruit in Amritsar, but they were unloading the same in Ludhiana. The trucks would be released after charging penalty from owners, the officials added.
A large number of residents visited the market for purchasing vegetables and fruits on Tuesday also defeating the purpose of social distancing. Further, a large number of residents also gathered at the sites, earmarked in every ward for ward-wise suppliers to provide vegetables and fruits to street vendors for onward sale in the city. The administration had earlier announced that no individual resident would be allowed to purchase vegetables at these sites.
Baweja said currently the mandi was operating only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to ensure social distancing. However, when the market opens on these days, crowds of people defeat the purpose of the move. He said he would urge the deputy commissioner to open the market for at least six days a week, and ban the entry of street vendors to the market.