As more trucks enter, APMC staff struggle to keep market sanitised

Risky business: From Saturday, it has been planned to allow 100 vehicles at a time to avoid crowding.

Risky business: From Saturday, it has been planned to allow 100 vehicles at a time to avoid crowding.  

Extra security guards, police personnel hired for bandobast

The planning of the APMC authorities along with government officials to get the market in Vashi sanitised and run it in a safe way went for a toss after 513 vegetable trucks rolled in along with purchasers on Friday. The idea was to have lesser number of vehicles, not exceeding 150, which could be managed well in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Kailas Tajne, a vegetable vendor, said there were at least 5,000 buyers and 2,000 traders at the market. “When farmers send their produce, we can’t say no to them. The control room set up to tackle the issues is located in the head office. The officers who are supposed to be in the field are not available at 2 a.m. when the market opens.”

Anil Chavan, secretary of APMC, said they were expecting only 200 trucks. “But since the market was shut and there was excess stock with farmers, many of them sent across. Usually traders call for the stock as per requirement, but some of the farmers sent even without asking for it and we could not deny them. We had planned to take in the vehicles only till 4 a.m., but it went on till 6 a.m..”

From Saturday, Mr. Chavan said, they had planned to allow 100 vehicles at a time to avoid crowding. “Meanwhile, we have hired an additional 50 security guards and have also received extra policemen for bandobast.”

The police have been doing their job well but overcrowding puts management off track, said Ashok Shiledar, a mathadi worker. “Only 20 % of the mathadi workers are available for work. We are hungry; we are not provided with snacks and tea.”

Traders have also claimed that the sanitisers had gone out of stock and after a point, sanitisation of the vehicles and men were stopped.

Konkan divisional commissioner Shivaji Daund said, “From Saturday, around 100 policemen will be available for bandobast. The unexpected crowd poses a challenge. Things will be better from Saturday.”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:55:38 PM |

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