Nagpur: Believe it or not, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), which has developed temporary 24 open-air vegetable markets throughout the city to support people during the lockdown, has prohibited the selling of potatoes and onions in those markets.
Citizens visiting the markets were surprised not to find potatoes or onions. The two are the most important vegetables primarily because of their flexibility and long shelf life. One can not believe that cooking without onions and potatoes was the general reaction of the buyers. Archana Raut, a resident of Reshimbagh, said that NMC had done a great job of setting up a vegetable market in Reshimbagh. “But I am not persuaded that their decision not to allow the selling of potatoes and onions is the right one,” she said. The decision would negate the lockout, as people will have to make another trip or visit another place to buy potatoes and onions, said Dinesh Palange, another local resident.
Kishan Balpande, a wholesaler of onions and potatoes, said he had been in the queue since 10 am to enter the Reshimbagh property. “The NMC officials told me that I would not be allowed there in the evening,” Balpande said.
While Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe was not available for comment, a senior NMC official explained the decision of the Civic Chief to help farmers sell new, perishable goods. He said that potatoes and onions were available in other markets such as Budhwari Bazaar, Itwari, Gokulpeth, Mangalwari etc. Chetan Bhagwan Kewte, a farmer from Dighori, expressed dismay at NMC’s decision to limit the entry of vegetable growers to Reshimbagh soil to only 60. Kewte said that, since most of the farmers supplying vegetables to the city come from the southern part of the district, they prefer the Reshimbagh soil.
The NMC official said that entry was limited to all 24 vegetable markets. NMC allocates tokens to farmers to do business in designated markets throughout the city, he said, adding that a decision had been taken to streamline the operation of all 24 markets in the area.