Maharashtra mandis back in business

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Published: March 31, 2020 7:56:46 AM

After a chaotic Friday when more than 15,000 people and 1,000 trucks arrived at Vashi’s APMC, things have become more manageable at Vashi with the police barricading the area to ensure proper distance is maintained between people.

Maharashtra mandis, APMC, coronavirus outbreak, supply of essential commodities, Latur district, COVID 19, APMC market, sale of foodgrains, Pune MarketyardVashi has five markets which include fruits and vegetables, onions and potatoes and spices, among other commodities. (File photo)

Most wholesale mandis in Maharashtra are slowly getting back to business with the government sending out instructions for the smooth supply of essential commodities. However, 45 Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMCs) of the 305 mandis in Maharashtra remained closed due to the fear of coronavirus outbreak.

After a chaotic Friday when more than 15,000 people and 1,000 trucks arrived at Vashi’s APMC, things have become more manageable at Vashi with the police barricading the area to ensure proper distance is maintained between people. Vashi APMC officials said 433 trucks arrived at the market on Monday and 818 trucks carrying goods from the market left for various other markets. Vashi has five markets which include fruits and vegetables, onions and potatoes and spices, among other commodities.

Officials said precautionary measures are being taken to ensure social distancing is maintained. The APMC market is working with only 40% staff and truckers are made to wait for hours before they are let in. Then, they have to wait for vegetables to be unloaded.

In Pune, Balasaheb Deshmukh, the chief administrator of APMC said the market would be open for sale of fruits and vegetables on alternate days. The arrivals are sufficient to meet the city’s vegetable requirement for the next couple of days and another round of arrivals is expected on Tuesday. In normal circumstances, the daily arrival of vegetables is in 15,000-17,000 quintal range.

On Monday, the market was open for onions and potatoes. Popatlal Oswal, president, Pune Merchants Chamber, said mandi is open on a daily basis for sale of foodgrains. The Pune Marketyard has 650 traders selling foodgrains and oils.

Meanwhile, 26 of the 27 mandis in Nashik district remained shut on Monday because of no arrivals in several markets and the imposition of Sec 144 in others and the fear of coronavirus. In Latur district, of the 48 markets, only four remained closed due to weekly offs and fear of Covid-19, three markets were shut in Kolhapur and 18 remained open. In Pune district,only Baramati mandi remained shut on fears of Coronavirus. In Nagpur 48 market functioned as usual and only two remained shut due to weekly off. Of 55 mandis, eight in Amravati division were closed.

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