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Coronavirus lockdown: Pune to feel vegetable pinch as supplies likely to run low; police open two WhatsApp lines for queries

Coronavirus lockdown: Pune police open two WhatsApp lines for queries, exemption request for vehicle movement

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: March 25, 2020 12:06:12 am
coronavirus cases india, pune coronavirus cases, pune lockdown, coronavirus quarantine, coronavirus news, latest news, indian express Pune Police personnel stopped vehicular traffic on city roads perforce at several places and turned away the motorists (Express Photo By Pavan Khengre)

THE LOCKDOWN and decision of the traders of wholesale markets to suspend trade have led to an increase in the prices of common vegetables. As markets shut their business from Tuesday, supplies of green vegetables is likely to run low till March 31.

On Tuesday, the Gultekdi marketyard saw city residents clambering to buy green vegetables. This was mainly due to the announcement of the traders and commission agents association to suspend business at the market from Tuesday. This decision, the association said, was made in view of the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). During the trade, the traders said, around 10,000 to 15,000 people come to the market, which makes it a high-risk area for the infection to spread.

Retail prices of most vegetables have skyrocketed in different parts of the city. Potatoes, which were selling at Rs 30 to Rs 35 per kg, have since been retailing at Rs 60 per kg. Similarly, onions are now for Rs 60 to Rs 70 per kg. Most green vegetables are now out of stock as retailers are complaining of supply shortage. This lockdown and outbreak have growers worried about the fate of their ready crop. Vegetable growers of Narayangaon and other areas said they will postpone the picking of crops by 15-odd days.

Chicken and egg sellers have also complained of supply disruption, with eggs running low in many parts of the town. In the initial days of the lockdown, poultry operators had complained of their vehicles not being allowed to ply. However, following the intervention of the district collector, such vehicles are now being allowed to ply without hindrance.

On their part, the office of the state government’s directorate of marketing has maintained that the markets dealing with essential commodities are open for business as usual. In case a farmer brings his produce to the market, the officials will ensure it is being sold to the wholesalers at urban markets.

Police open two WhatsApp lines for queries, exemption request for vehicle movement

AFTER IMPOSING restrictions on vehicle movement in the city, Pune City Police on Tuesday opened up four dedicated WhatsApp contacts to answer queries on various restrictions and respond to exemption requests from citizens.

Police officials said these numbers could be contacted for queries on restrictions. Police said exemption requests will be reviewed and people will be sent confirmation message from the same WhatsApp number.

Exemptions are being granted only under exceptional emergency circumstances. A tweet by Pune City Police said, “Residents to facilitate your travel to airport, hospitals, company or any such place, exempt under Section 144, we request you to WhatsApp your details on 8975953100 or 8975283100. We will evaluate the nature of your request and provide necessary assistance.” The other two numbers are 9145003100 and 9168003100.

According to a press release from the police, companies or industrial units exempt under lockdown orders are to send their requests to Punecitypolice.grievance@gmail.com, following which digital permits are being issued. If stopped by police, the concerned will have to produce a copy of the email with identity card and clearly mentioning name in the list and confirm to the police officer.

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