In an effort to ensure uninterrupted supply of ration to the national capital and to help farmers to sell their farm produce, Gopal Rai, Minister for Employment, Development, Labour, and Irrigation, Government of Delhi announced on April 20 that the Azadpur market will remain open 24×7 from April 21, Tuesday.
The directions from Rai came following a day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that there will be no relaxation in the lockdown norms in Delhi from April 20.
Azadpur agriculture market is the major wholesale market in Delhi from where the vegetables and fruits are distributed across the city. On the first day of lockdown, the market witnessed the supply of nearly 350 tonnes of tomatoes, 302 tonnes of potatoes, 350 tonnes of onions, 82 tonnes of cauliflower and cabbage, 70 tonnes of orange and 313 tonnes of apple.
Considering the announcement of the market being operation round the clock, Rai said, “Under the new arrangement, from 6 am to 10 pm, vegetables and fruits will be sold as usual at the Azadpur mandi. From 10 pm to 6 am, the truck movement will be allowed in and out of the market. Every four hours, the entry of 1,000 people will be allowed.”
Apart from the new norms to be followed in the market, Rai also said, as many as 900 civil defence volunteers will be deployed to ensure social distancing is being followed. Also, two more CCTV cameras will be installed at crucial locations to monitor the people density.
According to the new arrangement introduced by the Minister, as all the sheds in the market are numbered, odd-numbered sheds and even-numbered sheds were allowed to operate on alternate days.
Adil Khan, Chairperson, Azapur market committee said, “The policy was adopted to ensure social distancing but it proved costly in terms of business and supply chain. Farmers started complaining as the new arrangements reduced avenues for them to sell their products and it hit the supply chain of fruits and vegetables in the city. This was conveyed to the government. The new arrangement is a relief.”