Traders decide to close Pune Market Yard from March 25Updated: Mar 23, 2020 19:18 IST
Pune Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) traders decided to keep their shops closed from Wednesday till March 31. The decision was taken during a meeting held on Monday, keeping in view that the district administration did not have any concrete plan to aid the smooth sale of produce at APMCs, which is currently facing a barrage of buyers.
However, the government has assured the traders that it will provide protection to them to ensure that there is no crowding t the Market Yard.
Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said, “We are currently meeting with the traders. Their major concern is the large mob at the wholesale market and we are planning to provide them protection and maintain safe distances among traders.”
The latest decision may pose to become a major challenge before the Pune district administration to streamline the supply of fruits and vegetables as it may lead to shortage of essential commodities and may further cause panic among residents.
Pune APMC traders union president Vilas Bhujbal, said, “All the traders held a joint meeting on Monday and decided to keep the wholesale market open only till Tuesday, March 24. From Wednesday, traders will not work till March 31.”
At least, 15,000-20,000 people visited the Pune Market yard on Monday, according to officials, despite the government restriction on gathering of more than five persons. Bhujbal said that the retailers, who visit the Market yard to purchase produce, are dealing with a lot of residents in their respective areas and there are chances that traders get infected. “Workers who used to help the traders have already stopped coming to the shops and hence, it is not possible to run the business smoothly without them. So, even though our business falls under essential services, we have decided not to remain open from Wednesday.”
However, Maharashtra state agricultural marketing board director Sunil Pawar said, “We are appealing to the traders to take necessary precautions, but keep the business open across APMCs in Maharashtra. Traders and retailers should avoid rush in the market. We will keep the APMCs open in the state and try to sell the commodities which have arrived.”
Pune APMC administrator BJ Deshmukh has also appealed to vendors to come forward and keep the shops open as vegetables come under essential commodities, which are allowed to remain open during the Cvoid-19 lockdown.
Deshmukh said, “The administration is working on a solution to retain the smooth flow of vegetables to the markets in the urban areas. Once the action plan is finalised, we will provide more information.”
Even Lasalgaon APMC director Jaydutta Holkar from Nashik said, “We have already decided to close trade from Tuesday.”