On Saturday, a spice trader in the masala market, run by the APMC, was tested positive for Covid-19, causing panic among workers and traders which prompted authorities to order a shutdown.
Onion and potato market of Mumbai’s Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Vashi is all set to resume operations from April 15 after a meeting was called by Maharashtra principal secretary Anoop Kumar on Sunday with all stakeholders of the mandi. The vegetable and foodgrains markets are also expected to resume while the fruits and spices sections will remain shut till further notice, officials of the APMC said.
On Saturday, a spice trader in the masala market, run by the APMC, was tested positive for Covid-19, causing panic among workers and traders which prompted authorities to order a shutdown. The vegetable, fruit, onion and potato markets were shut unitil further notice.
Following this announcement, traders and Mathadi workers at foodgrains and spices section of the mandi decided to stop operations. However, with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray declaring an extension of the lockdown in Maharashtra, questions arose over the supply of essential commodities in Mumbai.
Vashi APMC is the largest supplier of fruits, vegetables, spices and other edible commodities to Mumbai and caters to smaller markets across the city as well as to retailers, caterers and the hotel industry.
In a note issued here, Anil Chavan, secretary of the market, stated keeping the extension of lockdown in mind, a decision has been taken to resume the onion and potato section of the market with effect from April 15. Chavan said the vegetable and foodgrain sections shall begin as well.
Chavan said only 100 vehicles carrying onions, potatoes and garlic shall be permitted inside the market from midnight to 8 am, and traders are expected to sell wholesale with a minimum of 250 quintal, and buyers are expected to stand in the squares marked by market authorities. Retailers shall not be allowed in the market, he said.
Chavan said vegetable market should also resume from April 15 and a decision regarding foodgrains will be taken after a meeting with the divisional commissioner of Konkan. Foodgrains market is also expected to resume on April 15.
Shashikant Shinde, MLA and Mathadi leader, said a meeting was called by the principal secretary on Sunday to discuss the difficulties faced by all stakeholders of the market.
Another meeting was held with the police officials on Monday morning to sort out issues regarding passes from the police, security for the workers and other operational issues. Workers and the police officials had an altercation last week which had led to the decision to shut down operations, market sources revealed.
Shinde said workers also wanted a limit on the number of vehicles ordered by traders to ensure checks and the Mathadi workers are ready to work between 9 am to 5 pm.