Delhi

‘Protest at borders affecting supply of vegetables, foods’

A man sells onions at Ghazipur mandi in Delhi.  

Farmers protesting at three major borders in the Capital have affected the supply of essential items like vegetables, oxygen cylinders, fruits and other articles to the city from neighboring States.

Delhi receives supply of consumable items from neighboring States such as U.P., Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir majorly through the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders — all three blocked due to the ongoing farmers’ protest.

According to Adil Khan, chairman of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at the Azadpur Mandi, which is considered the largest wholesale market in Asia, the arrival of both vegetables and fruits has reduced by half due to the closed borders.

The trucks have been reduced from daily 2,500 to 1,000.

APMC member Anil Malhotra said the supply of apples from Kashmir had been most impacted since the fruits need to be transported in relatively larger carriers, which were too big to use the alternative routes that are being taken by trucks now.

Hike in prices

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor urged the Delhi government to step in and ensure the availability of vegetables and fruits at “affordable” prices. He said common kitchen staples such as onions and potatoes were being sold at hiked prices across city markets due to shut routes.

“The supplies are arriving in the city from other alternative routes —Badarpur and Saharanpur — resulting in long queues of trucks on these borders and a delay. On Sunday and Monday, there were around 40% fewer trucks at Azadpur Mandi,” said Sushil Kumar, a wholesale vegetable seller.

He added that if the situation remains the same for the next few days then there will be an impact on retail prices of vegetables, fruits and grains. There are several perishable items that need to reach on time in Delhi or else, its has to be dumped.

Manoj Sharma, a wholesaler of flowers in Ghazipur phool mandi, said due to protest at borders, the flowers supply to the market has been severely affected as it is the wedding season.

“The market has already suffered losses due to lockdown and limitation of guests at weddings. Everyday hundreds of trucks from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and U.P. arrive in the market. Flower comes under highly perishable item and it can’t he hold even for a day otherwise it will be of no use,” said Mr. Sharma.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:07:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/protest-at-borders-affecting-supply-of-vegetables-foods/article33217284.ece

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