Defying curfew, buyers converge on wholesale vegetable market

Defying curfew, buyers converge on wholesale vegetable market

People buy vegetables and medicines at the wholesale market in Ludhiana. Himanshu Mahajan

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 25

Despite full curfew in the city, people in large numbers reached wholesale market on the Bahadurke road to buy vegetables. Due to huge rush, people were seen jostling with each other to buy vegetables thus giving an open invitation to Covid-19 infection.

Although only vendors with valid passes were allowed to enter the market for buying vegetables and fruits for their shops and their vending carts, residents also reached market for retail purchase.

No stock with listed vendors

Vinay, a resident of BRS Nagar, said, “I got a list of distributors of grocery stores, who are bound to deliver essential commodities door-to-door in their respective areas. I called a distributor at E Block, BRS Nagar, to book order for groceries, but he refused to deliver citing shortage of stocks.”

Yesterday, the district administration had announced that wholesale sabzi mandi would remain open from 3 am to 2pm to enable vendors buy vegetables and sell these door-to-door in the city.

People were not aware that wholesale market was open for rehriwalas only. Due to ignorance, people reached market in the early morning hours and bought vegetables and fruits in large quantity fearing shortage in the coming days.

“We thought that general public was allowed in this market. This is why we came here to buy vegetables and fruits. Cops did not stop us. The police made an announcement at 8 am that general public should leave the market else legal action will be initiated against them,” said Sonil Sharma, a resident of Durga Puri.

“We have no faith in the district administration, which claims that essential commodities will be supplied door-to-door,” said Ramesh Chandar, another resident.

“Except milk, nobody today came to deliver vegetables at homes. Had I not visited wholesale market today to buy vegetables, I would have not have been eating at my home,” he added.

Even people, who gathered at the wholesale vegetable market, were not wearing masks or gloves. Dozens of residents could be at risk if any person infected with virus visited the market.

Notably, several shopkeepers in internal markets opened their shops today morning. People flocked these shops to buy essential commodities. Meanwhile, cops used lathis on some shopkeepers in Field Ganj, Haibowal and the Hambran road.

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