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Supplies deplete at Delhi’s main markets in Azadpur, Ghazipur and Okhla as border blockade keeps trucks away

By Abhishek Dey, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 02, 2020 10:09 PM IST

The arrival of fruits and vegetables at Delhi’s biggest agriculture produce market in Azadpur has dropped significantly since the farmers’ blackade began at Delhi borders six days ago.

The number of trucks reaching the market has reduced from around 11,500 a day -- the normal for this time of the year -- to around 6,000 trucks a day, said Adil Khan, chairperson of the agriculture produce market committee (APMC) in Azadpur.

Several traders from the three prominent APMCs in Delhi – Azadpur, Ghazipur and Okhla – told HT that most traders have stopped sending fruits and vegetables to other states temporarily and have been focusing only on local supply as their stocks are limited. That, they said, has so far helped to keep wholesale and retail prices stable in Delhi.

“But traders are running out of stock. And, the arrivals are very low. So, a demand-supply gap will surface soon – probably in another three to four days -- if the borders remain blocked. Then, the prices will go up,” said Anil Malhotra, a wholesale trader based in Azadpur.

Traders in Ghazipur and Okhla echoed similar concerns regarding supply shortage and potential shoot-up in prices.

Green peas, potatoes and some varieties of apples and oranges -- which largely arrive from the northern states through the border points of SInghu and Tikri, which are now blocked -- are some of the items that have witnessed the sharpest dip in arrivals across the three agriculture markets, the traders said.

On Tuesday, HT had reported how trucks laden with goods are currently stranded on the Kondli highway with no place to go.

Naveen Gupta, general secretary of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said the queue of trucks awaiting entry into Delhi at the Singhu border alone is as long as around 5 kilometres now.

“Entry of trucks into Delhi has almost come to a complete halt because of the ongoing protest. Though we do not have an exact number of trucks stuck at the borders, but it is safe to say that more than 1,500 trucks are stuck. Per day, the losses being faced by truck owners is around Rs 2,500 per truck, including taxes, cost of the driver and the loss in the number of trips. The problem is that because of the delay the clients are also likely to deduct money from their total payment,” he said.

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