Veg supply likely to normalise but crowd at mandis despite lock-down
The supply of vegetables which was hit due to the lock-down was expected to be normal in the next 24 hours, said the wholesale traders and stockists at Dubagga, Naveen Mandi (Sitapur road) and Alambagh Mandi.
However, district administration officials said the supply of vegetables and other essential goods was on track and home delivery of essential items had been ensured in the city during the lock-down.
Before the lock-down was enforced, the city got between 70 to 80 truckloads of green vegetables and fruits from nearby districts as well as Nasik, Sholapur, Indore and Jabalpur. Once the lock-down started on March 24, no truck was allowed to enter. As a result there was scarcity of some vegetables. The residents also went for panic buying, putting pressure on the stockists. Hence prices of green veggies went up, said Rinku Sonkar, a leading stockist at Naveen Mandi on Sitapur Road.
Ironically, despite the lock-down, a jostling crowd of people, including vendors, at the mandis is throwing all caution about social distancing to the winds.
Sonkar said, “People are turning up in large numbers but we want the administration and police to control the crowd. The police should guard the gate and allow entry of customers one by one so that no one transmits the infection to another. We have raised this issue in our meeting with the district administration. But again hundreds of people assembled in the mandi, jostling with each other for space, tossing every norm in the air.”
District magistrate Abhishek Prakash said, “There have been reports of overcrowded in Dubagga, Sitapur Road and Alambagh mandis. The administration will now come up with a plan to control the crowd at these places.”
He also said that the police were sent to the mandis on Friday and from Saturday the administration would strictly implement the social distancing norm.
On Thursday, around 45 trucks with vegetables entered the state capital and on Friday around 62 trucks came with supplies at Dubagga and Sitapur Road mandis. A few trucks also went to Alambagh directly, said an official on condition of anonymity.
Mohammad Rafi, a trader in Dubagga Mandi said, “ In Dubagga around 40 to 50 truck and in Naveen Mandi on Sitapur Road around 20 to 30 trucks come daily with supplies. From here vegetables are distributed all over the city.”
He said, “The traders are scared about the infection and want limited number of customers inside the mandi. The district administration can also permit entry through tokens so that people don’t put others at risk. We also want the administration to arrange sanitisers and masks for those coming to the mandi.”