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In Gurgaon,greens at a premium as traders go on strike

After a shortage of power and water,residents of Gurgaon are bracing themselves for a shortage of fruit and vegetables as the city’s veggie traders declared an indefinite strike and hunger strike on Sunday.

Written by Tanushree Roy Chowdhury | Gurgaon |
February 24, 2009 12:09:03 am

After a shortage of power and water,residents of Gurgaon are bracing themselves for a shortage of fruit and vegetables as the city’s veggie traders declared an indefinite strike and hunger strike on Sunday. Around 1,200 fruits and vegetable traders went on strike on Sunday,protesting the construction of an agro mall at the Anaj Mandi on Khandsa Road in Old Gurgaon.

The traders claim the mall,once operational,will put additional load on them. “The storage space in the mall is very less so we will have to make daily purchases,” said Krishan Pal Yadav,president of the Gurgaon Sabzi Mandi Traders’ Association. “Besides,the mall is being built in a developed area,so prices of these shops will be so high that most of us would be unable to buy a shop here.

“The auction will only benefit outsiders with the necessary cash.”

The traders have put forward their demand to the Haryana government that instead of the agro mart the authorities should plan to build a sabzi mandi in the upcoming sectors of Gurgaon. This,they claim,would be cost effective and would come with much bigger storage space.

Mukesh Dagga,general secretary of the traders’ association,said: “A city like Gurgoan does not have a single sabzi mandi. Of the 1,200 traders granted license only a handful have been operating from the wholesale grain market on Khandsa Road. We pay the maximum licence fee compared to other districts of Haryana but do not get any facilities in return.”

Dagga said besides a mandi,the traders want reservation of shops for existing license-holders “so that it does not become an additional burden on us”.

Caught in a fix,meanwhile,are residents. Dr Saurabh Ghai,of Sushant Lok,said the residents have stocked up for now since the local traders informed them in advance about the strike but the situation would not hold up if the strike goes on for long. “If the agitation continues for long we will have to buy the daily needs from Delhi,” he said.

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