New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) To ensure sufficient supply of fruits and vegetables in the national capital, the Delhi government on Monday announced that the Azadpur Mandi will remain open 24 hours from Tuesday.
Addressing the media, Delhi Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said the decision has been taken in the view of ensuring that the social distancing norms are being practiced and to provide relief to the fruit and vegetable traders.
“The Azadpur Mandi has been catering to the people and procuring produce from farmers across the country. After the lockdown, there was an issue in ensuring social distancing in the mandi, and measures like implementation of the Odd-Even rule were taken to adhere to the lockdown protocol,” he said.
However, Rai said there was a decline in the volume of fruits and vegetables flowing through the market, with the arrivals in the market nearly dropped by 50 percent post-lockdown.
This, he said, led to two major problems — the prices of fruits and vegetables were rising in other areas and the farmers across the country were also facing an issue in supplying their produce to the markets.
“To eradicate all such issues, it has been decided that the Azadpur Mandi will remain open for 24 hours from tomorrow. Our primary motive is to maintain social distancing. For that, vegetables and fruits will be sold from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Every 4 hours, the entry of 1000 people will be allowed through the coupons. From 10 p.m. till 6 a.m., the truck movement will be allowed in and out of the market,” he added.
Rai said that arrangements have also been made on behalf of the administration to ensure hygiene and proper sanitation of the area.
“For this, 600 sanitation workers will be deployed and a monitoring in-charges have also been appointed to ensure the smooth functioning of the mandi. I have also held meetings with the traders of the mandi, and they have also been asked to maintain social distancing at all costs.”
Rai added tht the Odd-Even rule will remain implemented for now, and the trader’s license of all those who are not able to maintain social distancing will be cancelled.
“We have also installed cameras for the daily recording of the activities in the mandi and strict actions will be taken against those who defy the social distancing norms. Repeated announcements will also be made in the mandi. This is crucial to ensure that social distancing is followed strictly.”
Delhi has so far recorded more than 2,000 Coronavirus cases.