The wholesale mandi or Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee at Vashi, which supplies food grains to Mumbai, Thane and nearby areas took a decision today to completely close down from Monday till further notice. This decision was taken following possible infection among the labourers fearing infected with Corona Virus.
Two days back, the Vashi-based vegetable and fruit market yard had also said it was closing indefinitely from April 11, that is today, due to similar issues. Decision was taken today after a meeting with mathadi leaders, APMC officials and traders. Mathadi leaders raised serious concerns about health of their workers and other market participants.
The Vashi grain mandi has stopped all loading and unloading activity after labourers urged it to allow them to stay away for safety reasons. This means that no grains will be supplied to Mumbai city from Monday. Says Nilesh Veera, Director, Vashi APMC for food grains, “We have decided to stop all business activities here, but traders who wish to, can come to the market and do office work such as banking and accounting. However, they also have been told to vacate the market after 2PM. We will continuously review situation.”
Mmaller market yards for spices and dry-fruits were also closed. The vegetable, fruit, and onion and potato markets remained closed from today.
Veera says there is ample stock of grains in the mandi godowns and Mumbai will not be deprived. During the past two weeks, supplies to Mumbai have also doubled with consumers stocking up against foreseen shortages.
Grain yard had implemented a mechanism 10 days ago to keep crowds at a minimum level and brought down the numbers from 10,000 a day to about 8,000. Loading and unloading was done every alternate day. However, with spreading virus, a fearful labour force asked for closure.
During the past two weeks, daily supply of grains to Mumbai had doubled from 50,000 bags (30 kg each) a day to 100,000 bags.