The supply of vegetables, fruits and other grocery items to Chandigarh has been delayed due to the lockdown and curfew at certain places in the wake of coronavirus spread in the country. Vegetables and fruits, which are currently available in the market, had come three days ago.
Traders and truck union members maintain that fresh supply is not being received from states such as Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. They also claim the closure of industrial units is another reason behind the delay of supply as truck operators cannot afford only one-side transport of vegetables from one state to another.
Amarjeet Singh, manager with Prem Singh Gurbachan Singh Vegetable Trading Company at Grain Market in Sector 26, said, “Supply has been delayed for at least four to five days. The vegetables, which are available in the market, are not part of fresh supply. The lockdown also made an impact on the consumption. People are not coming in the main market to purchase. Due to the nationwide lockdown, loaded trucks, which have been dispatched from various mandis to Chandigarh, are not reaching on time leading to the gap in supply. If the supply from other states is not restored, there will be a crisis in the coming days.”
There are over 100 traders dealing in vegetables, fruits, pulses and other grocery items at the Grain Market, Sector 26. Surinder Singh, a vegetable trader, said, “We can afford late supply of vegetables like potatoes, onions but cannot of vegetables which cannot be consumed after a few days. These vegetables include ladyfinger, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage and cauliflower.”
Balwinder Kumar, a truck driver who arrived from Indore to Chandigarh on Wednesday night, said, “I started from Indore on March 20 and arrived here on March 25. It took me five days to reach Chandigarh with the load of onions in my truck. Usually, we travel from Indore to Chandigarh in 36 hours. The movement of trucks is not restricted within the states but we are being halted at the borders. I had to stand for 24 hours at Derabassi as cops did not allow us to move further. Secondly, the trucks which have already arrived in Chandigarh are also not moving.”
Transporter Harnek Singh said, “The production in industrial units is closed. It is one of the reasons behind the slow supply. My trucks ply between Chandigarh and Madhya Pradesh. From MP, we transport vegetables. Simultaneously, from Chandigarh we transport medicines and plastic material from Baddi to MP. But as the production in the industrial units is closed, we have stopped all our trucks. We cannot afford one-side transport of vegetables.”
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