A week after the state government started offering subsidised vegetables through government-controlled cooperative outlets, traders at Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) are a happy lot.
After dispatching tonnes of produce, there has not been a single day that the vegetables have been brought back to the market, thanks to the overwhelming demand that the initiative is reaping.
On Monday, 10 tonnes of vegetables were sent to various outlets, while on Tuesday 11.5 tonnes were transported.
Shankar Pingale, director, APMC vegetable market, said, “We dispatch the vegetables after grading them and there are times when the veggies are not of top quality due to the heavy rains they incur while being transported to the market.
So far none of the vegetables dispatched have been returned. The response to the initiative has been overwhelming and we are trying our best to supply good quality vegetables, so that there are no complaints at all.”
With low-priced vegetable striking a nerve with the public, the outlets have increased their demand for the greens. “We have heard that people are standing in long queues to get their hands on the vegetables.
This scheme is helping keep the middlemen at bay. Moreover, the margin of profit is barely anything in comparison to the price at which we are selling the
produce to consumers,” added Pingale.
A new toll free number was started at the beginning of this week to tackle queries from customers regarding the initiative. The person answering the helpline said that at times they receive 25-30 calls in an hour, while sometimes there are barely any calls.
There are people who have been calling up from various places in the city asking the government to set up additional centres. Many have even shown interest in starting outlets to sell subsidised vegetables in their own housing societies. Over 90 per cent of the people calling are women.