The local body tax has locals in the city overtaxed, what with all the running around Mumbaikars are doing of late to locate a store that is still doing business at a time when most traders are striking work to decry the LBT. Since close shutters greet you everywhere, MiD DAY has put together a catalogue of shops concrete and cyber where you can get your grocery and other items of daily use till the protest blows over.
These stores give their word that they will provide all necessary items for the next 10 to 15 days. But they were silent when asked about fresh vegetables and fruits. If the APMC market remains shut for a long time, stock will be affected, they say.
You can expect to get fruits and vegetables and other eatables at the supermarket chains for the coming two weeks, the management assures you, thanks to their giant storage arrangements.
D-mart: Manager of the D-mart at Andheri (W) said, “We have a set of local vendors who supply us fresh fruits and vegetables. We get the supplies from them daily. Our other products are stored in the godown and we have ample commodities which will be sufficient for the coming few days.” He adds, “We are open 365 days a year.”
Reliance Fresh: Supervisor Manvandra C of the store in Chembur arcade on Sion Road said, “We have no issues regarding the shortage of stock. We get our daily products, like fruits vegetables etc, from the distribution centre at Bhiwandi. We will continue to get them in the days to come.”
Cooperative chains: They have their storehouses of supplies that should stand you in good stead for a fortnight as far as FMCGs are concerned. But they are likely to run out of a few basic edibles and grocery items. Getting fresh foods, however, looks tricky here.
Sahakari Bhandar: The manager of the Sahakari Bhandar in Juhu said, “We get our products from our godown which has the capacity to store huge stocks. But we are facing problems too, as we have no stock of sugar. At the most, we can survive 10 more days in this situation.”
Apna Bazaar: The manager of Apna Bazaar in Andheri (W) said, “We aren’t facing any problems as far as fast moving consumer goods are concerned. We have our godown in Vashi. Our vendors are providing us with all the required products so there isn’t any problem as of now. But we are facing issues as far as the supply of vegetables goes.”
Online shops: Instead of struggling to look for an open shop by the road, just stay indoors and search online. You can order and get the stuff delivered right at your doorstep at these e-shops. But they may run out of stock if the strike goes on long enough.
Bigbasket.com: “Due to the LBT strike, we are not able to get some of the products, mainly vegetables and staples. If this strike goes on, it will surely affect us. Our products will last up to 15 days,” said Shoham Roy, team leader, bigbasket.com.
Ekstop.com: “We have ample stock of products and people can easily place and receive their order. We buy our products from the Vashi market. If it remains shut, it will affect us and we will be out of stock. In that case, people will face problems for placing an order,” said Abhay Singh, manager.
The APMC market plans to go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, affecting many others including the malls that get most products from here. The grain markets of APMC will be completely shut affecting the distribution to a lot of places.
Kirti Rana, director of Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC), and president of the Confederation of All India Traders, Maharashtra State told MiD DAY, “Starting May 8, all traders in Navi Mumbai will stop supplying all sorts of grains, grocery products, sugar, tea, dry fruits and spices. We are not going to withdraw this strike unless the LBT is abolished.”
“We have decided to intensify our agitation and have started a signature campaign of all traders and retailers who want LBT to be abolished. On May 14, all the traders in Navi Mumbai will go march from Vashi to the Siddhivinayak Temple in Dadar, to place our demands before the government,” added Rana.
Chemists on strike
The Maharashtra State Druggists and Chemists Asssociation (MSDCA) said that city pharmacists would strike work on May 10, following directions from the All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD). Anil Navandar, MSDCA joint secretary said, “All chemist associations in Mumbai will participate in the one-day chemists’ strike on May 10 to protest for 24 hours, as we have decided to participate in the strike called by the AIOCD.”
“Our demands are that there should be no reduction in trade margin as proposed in the new drug policy. There should be no foreign direct investment in the pharma trade,” said Navandar. Other demands include repealing of state’s ban on issuing new drug licences, relief in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 2008, and minimum interference by the police.
The city, mostly western suburbs, will see a lot of protest rallies today by various trader groups
>> Vile Parle (W) retailers, to go on strike, will hold a rally from Irla to JVPD Road via the road to the Andheri railway station.
>> A havan will be held by these shopkeepers at Bhuleshwar
>> A human chain will be formed at Malad (W) at 9.30 am
>> A bike and car rally will be carried out from Goregaon to Dahisar
>> A meeting of garment dealers will be held in Dadar to decide on the course of action
For Mumbaikars, the strikes and protests and shutdowns are an annoying interruption in their lives, as they cannot buy the stuff they need when they need it. Here’s what they have to say:
It is not easy to come all the way to the mall daily since we stay far away. It is better to purchase from the local retailer. The money we spend in travelling to the mall can be spent on the shopping. - Nasim Banu
I hope things settle down fast. We cannot afford to purchase daily items at the mall. We do not have time to stand in huge queues. Besides, things are quite reasonable in the local store. - Shailaja Thorat
All the shops at Abdul Rehman Street and Mirza Street, which are usually packed even on weekdays, are closed. I have come all the way from Borivli to shop for my sister’s wedding. But nobody is ready to open shop despite repeated requests. I took the day off from work only to come here but it’s been a waste. - Anubhav S
I have come to shop for my son’s birthday party but all I can see is close shutters. It is annoying to travel all the way in the scorching heat only to find that you will get nothing. - Sanjay Thakkar
We are facing a lot of problems as about one in 15 shops is open. I came from Thane to shop for an occasion, and there are so many of them at this time of the year. Traders should acknowledge the demand. - Radhika Pathak