Kashmir Indepth

‘4-hour business at Parimpora Fruit Mandi’,

Association says, ‘80 per cent of stock was left unloaded on Friday, urges Div com to look into the matter

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Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, May 01 (KINS): The fruit association parimpora Friday said that government’s decision to keep the mandi in Srinagar open for only four hours has choked the supply chain of fruits and vegetables across Kashmir.

They said that few hours of business will lead to chaos instead of social distancing.

Recently, the district administration Srinagar issued an order stating that the Fruit mandi Parimpora should remain open from 8 am to 12 noon, which means only four hours of business.

The government had also asked the fruit and vegetable mandi dealers to adhere to the social distancing norms besides directing those involved in selling and distributing the vegetables and various varieties of fruit to wear mask and gloves.

However, the President, New Kashmir Fruit Association Fruit Association, Bashir Ahmad Bashir said that first hurdle has been created by the government for them is issuance of 150 odd passes despite their request to issue at least 1000 passes to the genuine people involved in the mandi business. “Every day, hundreds of vehicles including Tata mobile, load carriers and small load carriers would reach mandi to load various varieties of fruits, vegetable as this is a peak season. Keeping the mandi open for mere four hours has resulted in the chaos all around as many people couldn’t load the stuff for which they had come for,” Bashir Ahmad told news agency KINS.

He said how can there be social distancing in the mandi when there is just four hours of business allowed. “People from across Kashmir come here in their own vehicles. And it’s not our duty or responsibility to check each vehicle. Every vehicle comes to load the stuff be that water melon, mangoes, bananas the fruit that comes from outside besides vegetables,” he said, adding that how can there be social distancing when hundreds reach mandi for loading this stuff.

He further told KINS that their demand is to extend business hours from 8 am to 3 pm at least so that people who come from far off places can get what they want. “Today, because of less availability of time, 80 per cent fruit and vegetable remained in mandi alone as that couldn’t be loaded in the vehicles. This will lead to losses for us,” Bashir said.

He urged the government to issues 1000 passes so that there can be hassle free loading and unloading of the fruit and vegetables. “At this juncture, 200 vehicles from outside states come here with fruit varieties. People of Kashmir mostly eat the fruit that comes from outside, which is a known fact. So there is a chain. A person who comes from Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore and has to go back with the supply is feeling chocked in between the timing and loading the stuff,” he said.

The President made a fervent appeal to the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K pole to have a review of the decision of curtailing the timing of mandi business and extend it further for the smooth business at mandi.

“When hundreds of vehicles will assemble at mandi at a time, how can there be a social distancing. Everyone is in a rush to get his vehicle laden with fruit and other stuff because of the less timing,” he said, and urged the district administration Srinagar to look into the issue on humanitarian grounds.(KINS)

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