COVID-19 lockdown: Vashi APMC fruit market resumes operation after 9-day break

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Published: April 21, 2020 5:14 AM

The onion and potato market, and vegetables and foodgrains market have already begun functioning since last week after the intervention of minister Eknath Shinde during the lockdown period.

Only wholesale buyers who make purchases not less than Rs 15,000 will be allowed to enter the market, Chavan said.Only wholesale buyers who make purchases not less than Rs 15,000 will be allowed to enter the market, Chavan said.

Vashi Agriculture Produce Market Committee’s fruit market in Mumbai has resumed operations with some restrictions on Monday after a break of nearly nine days.

The onion and potato market, and vegetables and foodgrains market have already begun functioning since last week after the intervention of minister Eknath Shinde during the lockdown period. These markets had shut down from April 11 after a scare among traders and Mathadi workers about the spread of COVID-19 as social distancing norms were not being followed by visitors to the market.

Vashi APMC is the largest supplier of fruit, vegetables, foodgrains, spices, onions and potatoes to Mumbai and caters to smaller market across the city as well as retailers, caterers and the hotel industry.

Anil Chavan, secretary, Mumbai APMC, said the wholesale fruit market will be allowed to operate subject to conditions of social distancing being followed by the visitors. Only 250 vehicles will be permitted inside the market, he informed. “A separate area has been provided for 50 vehicles at the open plot of the State Transport Corporation for fruits such as musk melon and water melons.”

Only wholesale buyers who make purchases not less than Rs 15,000 will be allowed to enter the market, Chavan said.

Traders and commission agents have been given the responsibility of maintaining social distancing outside their shops and the market committee authorities can take necessary action for defying the norms, he said. Traders are not allowed to ripen mangoes in the market. Any kind of retail operations have been completely stopped, he said.

Vehicles will be allowed from 9 pm to 5 am in the market, he said. Sanjay Pansare, direct, Mumbai APMC, confirmed that the market has resumed operations and some 250 vehicles had brought fruits into the market. These include 100 vehicles for transporting mangoes, 70 vehicles for oranges and sweet limes, 15 vehicles for grapes, 15 vehicles for papaya, 5 vehicles for chikoo (sapota), 15 vehicles for pineapple, 15 vehicles for watermelon, 5 vehicles for pomegranates and 10 vehicles for imported fruits.

While the APMC has permitted only wholesale buyers at the Vashi market, another direct farmer-to-seller market for fruits and vegetables was planned to begin at Khargarh’s Central Park Maidan from Monday. Chavan said this had been postponed for administrative reasons.

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