The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to conduct a survey of all 48 weekly vegetable markets in the city in an effort to weed out illegal ones.
“We had urged the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) to act against illegal weekly vegetable markets, but they have put the onus on us. So we will carry out a survey of the weekly vegetable markets and take action against those operating illegally,” said Madhav Jagtap, deputy municipal commissioner.
In 2016, the Maharashtra government had launched a programme to put farmers in direct touch with consumers by setting up weekly vegetable markets. The programme was to be implemented by the MSAMB on land provided by respective civic bodies.
But last month, the PMC had declared all weekly vegetable markets in the city illegal and urged the MSAMB to take action against them while ensuring implementation of the state government initiative. Jagtap had said that many hawkers are illegally taking advantage of the scheme. “The weekly vegetable markets were specifically for farmers to sell their produce. But many stalls at these markets are selling fruits and vegetables not produced here. It means these hawkers are taking advantage of the situation,” Jagtap had said.
However, the MSAMB had said it was supposed to coordinate between the management of the market and the civic body to implement the programme after plots are made available. “The PMC had not handed over the land to us so the vegetable markets are operating without our permission. The PMC should take action on its own,” an MSAMB official had said, adding that it will appoint a nodal officer for each weekly market only if the PMC provides land.
Sources said the PMC was pushing for an agreement with MSAMB to allow the use of its land for the markets while putting the onus on MSAMB if anything untoward occurred there. In response, the MSAMB had proposed a tri-party agreement with the PMC and the agency to be appointed to run the markets, but the civic body rejected it.
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