Covid-19 lockdown: Traders boycott plans, vegetables cost high in thane

April 17, 2020

THANE: Majority residents from Thane, suburbs continued to face inconvenience as fruits and vegetables remained scarce and costly as wholesale vendors refused to operate leaving residents to the mercy of retailers who reportedly exploited the situation.

Resultantly, residents from several areas had to either rely on pulses or were forced to purchase vegetables from few retailers who apparently took undue advantage of the situation and were selling the stock at inflated prices. Few residents claimed that the available vegetables were selling for nearly double or triple their prices and social distancing was also not being practiced at several spots including at Indira Nagar.

R Iyer, a resident of Waghbil told TOI that there were no vendors operating in his area and claimed they would operate only next week. Another resident who ventured to the Thane market complained basic coriander selling at Rs 50 per bunch while others like flower and cabbage were also being overpriced. "We have no option but to purchase vegetables at higher prices," said the resident.

Meanwhile, several housing complexes opted for bulk orders for their residents and ensured they didn’t face any inconvenience. "Vendors were not operating in our area but our society ordered for truckloads of vegetables today and we got adequate stock of fruits and vegetables. We also maintained the social distancing as all residents waited for their turn," said S Raikar, a resident of society at Bramhand.

Meanwhile, traders complained that they would continue to boycott the new locations set up by the Thane corporation on Tuesday claiming it wasn’t feasible and safe to sell vegetables at the 17 spots across the city. It may be recalled, the district administration had lifted curbs on vegetable market operations from Wednesday and stalls be distributed evenly and avoid crowding at one spot.

Ankush Thonge, a vegetable vendor said it wasn’t feasible for the traders to operate at different locations as many collectively call for stock from Nashik and Pune and driving the stock to all corners of the city will add to the cost price. “We have decided to not operate until the administration comes out with a feasible option for us to operate as the present situation will add to our losses,” he said.

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