Chandigarh residents and vendors are set to benefit big time after the Chandigarh Market Committee’s decision to set up Apni Mandis throughout the week in different sectors as per schedule. The mandis will be set up at the existing venues by the Punjab Mandi Board on different days. The intiative will kick-start from April 7.
Lauding the initiative, UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi said that the residents will now get fresh fruits and veggies twice a week at reasonable rates.
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The rates will be fixed by the committee on the basis of the wholesale rates in Sector 26 . To ensure consumers are not overcharged, a daily rate list will be displayed by the committee and strict action would be taken against vendors found charging more than the prevailing rates.
Sharing his views behind the initiative, Joshi said that a large number of fruit and vegetable vendors sit on roads for selling their goods, which leads to traffic congestion. Since it was decided to keep the roads free from encroachments, it was decided to start apni mandis.
Identity cards will be issued by the chairman market committee free of cost to the farmers and vendors interested to sell their good on submission of application and an affidavit. The identity cards will be valid for a period of one year and will be renewed by the committee in month of April every year. Farmers and vendors will be required to keep the identity card at the time of entry to the mandi.
The Chandigarh traffic police will ensure smooth flow of traffic movement while market committee will provide private security personnel to assist the police personnel.
The committee will maintain the basic amenities such as drinking water and sanitation at these mandis. Nominal charge of Rs 70 and Rs 35 will be taken from the vendors for setting up their stalls.
However, there are certain curbs which have been put on place for vendors. The vendors will not allowed to use calcium carbide for ripening of fruits and they won’t be allowed to use polythene bags and coloured lights. Drinking water facility and sanitation work will be looked after by the committee and the mandis will be cleaned by 10am next morning.
Joshi said that the functioning of these mandis will be supervised by the market committee. “A three-member committee has been constituted to see the overall functioning of the mandis,” Joshi said. He added that though the initiative will presently only be in south but plans are being drawn out to come up with more mandis in other parts of the city.