NEW DELHI: Delhi could be facing shortage of fruits and vegetable as a section of traders at Azadpur wholesale market has threatened to suspend business from next week till the end of nationwide lockdown on May 3. The death of a trader earlier this week and three others testing positive for COVID-19 have left trade associations jittery about the efficacy of arrangements made for social distancing at the wholesale market. “We have decided to stop all our orders from Monday, because of the Delhi government’s faulty policy.
No norms are being followed when it comes to social distancing inside the Mandi. Government should actually be extending a helping hand, but it is the opposite with us,” said Anil Malhotra, general secretary, Azadpur Mandi Vegetable Traders Association. “Trucks are being challaned heavily for overstaying even if it’s a little bit above their allotted limit.
Many officers are trying to make quick money at this time of crisis.” Malhotra, a member of Azadpur APMC, claimed around 90 percent of 2,400-2,600 traders have decided to stop ordering farm produce. Traders are demanding that operations be shifted to an open area like Chattarsal stadium, he said. One of the allegations is APMC authorities have allowed entry of 4,000 vehicles daily but only 1,000 get token at a time at the wholesale market.
Challans up to ` 5,000 for overstaying of vehicles are a major irritant for traders and vendors. “Trucks have been given the time from 10 pm to 6 am in the morning but the mandi is overcrowded and we don’t have enough load workers. It takes more time for trucks to enter, to unload the produce and leave,” said Malhotra.