In order to control the crowd, the Mumbai Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), located in Vashi, has increased its business hours. Now, instead of midnight 2 am, the market will open its shutters at 10 pm, four hours before the present timing.
The APMC market receives a considerable footfall daily. In the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the market was one of the major contributors of active cases. Learning from the past, the market administration has decided to change its timings.
“The vegetable market sees the maximum footfall at midnight, which continues throughout the day. The change in timings will prevent overcrowding,” said an official from the APMC administration. Earlier, the market used to start at 2 am and continue till 10am, a total of 8 hours of business. Now, vehicles will be allowed to enter the market premises by 10 pm and continue till 10 am, a total of 12 business hours. Other markets like fruits, onion and potato, spice, and grains will continue to operate as usual.
APMC Vashi supplies essential commodities to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and it cannot be closed. “Since the market cannot be closed, as it will affect the availability of essential products, a few measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus,” said the official. Meanwhile, in the last 12 days, the city has seen around 10,000 new cases of COVID-19. The civic body as well as the police have hit the road to ensure that people do not loiter.