Coronavirus Pandemic: APMC Market to reopen amid lockdown

Coronavirus Pandemic: APMC Market to reopen amid lockdown

In a major relief for Mumbaikars, the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Chhagan Bhujbal on Wednesday announced that the Navi Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) will reopen from Thursday. The announcement will ensure supply of vegetables to markets in Mumbai and suburban areas.

Along with the citizens, the resuming of operations for APMC market also comes as a relief for farmers who supply their products to the market. The decision comes after the market was closed for two days. As the market was closed for the two days amid the coronavirus pandemic, the supply of vegetables was impacted, leading to a rise in prices.

“We have opened Dadar and Byculla market from Wednesday and Navi Mumbai APMC would be working from Thursday. There will not be any shortage of supply in any part of Mumbai or suburbs,” said Mr. Bhujbal.

The minister has assured that he has conversed with the police commissioners of Mumbai and Nashik to ensure the police don’t stop vehicles carrying essential commodities.

While the minister announced the services will resume from today, the APMC authorities said that they would resume only on Saturday, in a phased manner. The decision came after two days of meetings between APMC authorities, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), Konkan division officials, the police and the regional transport office.

The officials declared that they will initially begin with vegetable and cereals. Later, they will resume the services of masala, fruits, and onion and potato. The plan is to get 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the market functioning in the first phase.

NCP leader Shashikant Shinde, the secretary of the mathadi workers’ union assured that the market committee will take all the precautions. He added that all the vendors will be provided masks and sanitisers and to reduce the crowd in the market, they are planning to provide the vegetables directly to retailers.”

On Wednesday, the APMC board gave a demonstration to all stakeholders on the precautions that have to be practised.