Vegetable supply hit: 16 Ludhiana arhtiyas booked for negligence
With arhtiyas at the vegetable market (sabzi mandi) allegedly selling vegetables to retailers at higher rates illegally in the wee hours of Thursday, supply of vegetables through registered vendors got hit, leaving thousands without their daily requirement of supplies.
For this, police have booked 16 arhtiyas under sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC.
Cops also had to resort to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
Police commissioner Rakesh Agarwal had reportedly visited the market on Wednesday and it was decided that market would operate between 9am and 2pm and only registered vendors would be able to sell vegetables in the city.
However, arhtiyas opened the market half past Wednesday midnight and started selling vegetables at higher prices to retailers, vendors and public. Basti Jodhewal SHO Arshpreet Kaur said the 16 arhtiyas did nothing to maintain social distancing as well.
The supply was hit in Model Town Extension, Nehru Nagar, BRS Nagar, Dugri, Haibowal and Field Ganj among other areas.
One of the residents of Nehru Nagar, Gurminder Singh, said no vegetable vendor visited their area on Thursday. “When we tried contacting the vendor who usually supplies vegetables here, he said he had to return empty-handed from the mandi. The administration should ensure that each area gets proper and regular supply of vegetables,” he added.
Dilpreet Singh of Dugri said they were unable to get vegetables and groceries in the absence of a proper channel. “No vendor visited our area, contrary to claims made by the administration,” he added.
Chairman of market committee, Darshan Lal Baweja, said they would also take action against the guilty arhtiyas.
Councillor, MC staff to supervise sale
MC secretary Neeraj Jain said a company has come forward which would provide pick-up vehicles for every city ward. “It will help vendors in transportation of supplies from the vegetable market. The vegetables would be sold under the supervision of area councillor.
DCP Ashwani Kapoor said the market would now operate from 6am to 11am and only the retailers with licences and registered vendors would be allowed to purchase vegetables. Around 2,000 vendors have been identified for the purpose.
Complaints of fleecing
Vegetable vendors and shop owners in different parts of the city have been accused of fleecing customers by charging 3 to 4 times higher rates. BJP leader Vineet Monga alleged that vendors in Jawahar Nagar camp were selling vegetables at triple rates.
On Wednesday, residents of Vishal Nagar had also made a similar complaint against local vendors.