Covid-19 lockdown: In Gurugram, rush at grocery stores, vegetable shops
Several residents said that they stocked up on vegetables and pulses amid growing uncertainties over whether the supply of goods will take a major hit in the coming days.Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 15:23 IST
An overriding fear that the 21-day nationwide lockdown could hit supplies resulted in a scramble at supermarkets and grocery stores across Gurugram on Wednesday morning as residents looked to buy items of daily need in bulk, even at higher rates.
Several residents said that they stocked up on vegetables and pulses amid growing uncertainties over whether the supply of goods will take a major hit in the coming days.
“The local grocery store in my condominium closed on Tuesday, as the owner couldn’t get his supply from the Azadpur Mandi in Delhi. Even at my sister’s residential complex in sector 47, there was a similar crisis. There is a lot of uncertainty. I’ve purchased ration and vegetables in bulk so that they last over a month if the situation doesn’t improve,” said Anita Kaul, a resident of DLF-Phase 4.
Many grocery sellers have raised the prices of their goods on the back of high demand after the lockdown announced by the Centre on Tuesday evening to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Bablu Gupta, president of Sadar Bazar, Vyapar Kendra Association, said queues outside the vegetable mandi in the city’s oldest market were twice as long and prices increased by up to 30%.
“Around 150 vendors sell vegetables in the mandi, and each of them is catering to at least 12 buyers at any given point of time. Some people bought around 15 kilograms of onions and some purchased vegetables worth over Rs 5,000, despite the fact that the prices have gone up to 30% over the last two days,” said Gupta.
“The supply of goods to the mandi is yet to be hit significantly, as most of the trucks that come from Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh come to Gurugram bypassing Delhi, where the borders are sealed,” he added.
Residents found many retail shops, supermarket and stores selling essential items shut, despite the central government’s order that they would remain open.
“I left my house around 10 am and found two supermarkets on the Golf Course Road were closed. I found a private grocery shop open near DLF-Phase 1, where there were queues of around 20 people waiting to get inside even though only five were allowed entry at a time. I managed to enter after a 20-minute wait, but by then, the entire stock of onions, and potatoes was exhausted,” said Rakesh Kapoor, a resident of DLF-Phase 5.
Prices have soared significantly at Khandsa Mandi as well.
“The vegetables at Khandsa Mandi were selling at least 50% higher than compared to last week. The vegetable vendors are making a killing by flouting the strict warning of the Gurugram district administration,” said Hemant Kumar, a resident of Sector 37D.
Rajbir Singh, a civil defence member, said that he visited Khandsa Mandi and warned shop owners not to sell at inflated prices. He said that the district administration has been informed about the malpractices.
“The district administration is looking at inflated prices of vegetables and all other essential items on a priority basis and appropriate action will be taken all violators,” said Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, Gurugram.