The Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) will reopen from Saturday in phase-wise, decided after a marathon meeting, attended by traders, mathadi (head loader) unions and administration on Wednesday. The market administration will ensure that there would not be rush in the market premises unnecessary.
Police will assist market stakeholders in managing the crowd and ensure a smooth supply of vegetables at grocery shops and retailers across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, and other areas. The functioning of the APMC will be monitored by the commissioner of the Konkan division.
Narendra Patil, a former MLC and Mathadi leader confirmed that the wholesale market will restart functioning from Saturday. “The market will be opened in phase wise to prevent unnecessary rush and hope the supply will become normal by the beginning of next week,” said Patil.
Earlier, the market administration had decided to close all the wholesale markets from March 25 to 31. They decided following the outbreak of novel coronavirus and due to exodus of hawkers and mathadi workers from the city. There are five markets namely grain, spices, and onion-potato.
The onion-potato market was opened on Wednesday, but there was little trade. Ashok Walunj, director of Onion-Potato market in APMC said that they open on Wednesday but there is a little trade due to the absence of retailers and daily wage workers due to fear of virus contamination. “We had a metting on Wednesday to sort out these issues,” said Walunj.
Actually, traders, as well as mathadi workers, were seeking assurance from the administration of their safety. Shankar Pingle, director of the Vegetable market in APMC said that safety of all traders and visitors are very important.
However, in many parts of Navi Mumbai, onion price shot up and it was being sold at Rs 60 per kg. Sanjay Pansare, director of the fruit market in APMC said that there is enough stock of all items and they can meet the demand of the city. “The market was closed due to poor turn up of retailers at the market and vegetables could not be offloaded from trucks,” said Pansare.
The Mumbai APMC situated in Vashi supplies vegetables, fruits and other commodities to Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai, Palghar and up to Vasai Virar. On Wednesday, the APMC saw the arrival of vegetables that were traded outside the premises. “Since vegetables are perishable commodities and it cannot be stored. So, whatever vegetables arrived on Wednesday were traded.