With the number of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases showing a rising trend, the agriculture produce market committee (APMC), Mahuva in Mahuva taluka of Bhavnagar district has decided to shut down its yard for 10 days beginning Thursday (July 16).
“Mahuva taluka has been reporting one or two cases of Covid-19 every day for some time now. This trend calls for caution and the need to break the chain of spread of infection. Therefore, we have decided to keep our yard shut for 10 days,” Ghanshyam Patel, chairman of Mahuva APMC, told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
Mahuva APMC is the biggest wholesale market of onion in the state.
The chairman said that during the 10-day closure, the auction of vegetables would continue.
This is for the second time that Mahuva APMC is shutting down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The APMC had joined other APMCs in the state in the lockdown which had begun from March 22. However, it was among the first in the state to reopen as it started auction of onions on April 9 with an aim to help farmers sell their harvest of the perishable item. For the latest shutdown, the chairman said it has also got a green light from the government.
“We have communicated our decision to the district registrate of cooperatives of Bhavnagar and the registrar’s only directive to us was that farmers shouldn’t be inconvenienced by our action. We have assured that won’t be the case as most of farmers have sold their Kharif and Rabi crops. This was evident from very negligible arrivals that our yard has been witnessing for the past week or so…,” said the chairman.
Vishal Pachani, the Mahuva APMC secretary, said the vegetable auction takes place between 5 am and 7 am on their yard. “A lot of people who are native of Mahuva taluka and adjoining talukas of Amreli district are settled in Surat. But due to Covid-19 pandemic and high number of cases in Surat, they are returning to their native places, increasing the risk of infection here also. Therefore, we APMC administration has decided to close the yard,” said Pachani.
Pankaj Valvai, sub-divisional magistrate of Mahuva concurred with the APMC secretary. “So far, Mahuva taluka has registered 50 cases of Covid-19. Almost 98 per cent of the persons who have tested positive had travel history of Surat,” he said.
However, other major APMCs in Saurasthra said they can’t shut down on lines of Mahuva.
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