Mumbai rains: APMC traders sick of flooding in market
It is similar scene every year for the traders at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale market. Whenever it rains heavily, the market is waterlogged and traders and customers have to wade through dirty water and filth.
Traders say that the APMC market drainage system is not adequate to let water flow out. Hence, every monsoon, the market is flooded with dirty water and garbage
Despite being Asia’s largest regulated market for agricultural produce, commercial blocks of the site are flooded during monsoon. Traders struggle to keep their ware clean, and away from piles of garbage and drainage water. They say the market doesn’t have a good drainage system to allow the water to escape.
“We pay huge amounts in taxes to the APMC board, and yet, we don’t get the deserved service. Cleanliness is always an issue. Contractors who are appointed to clean the premises do not do their work sincerely, and hence, the already ill-maintained market looks even more filthy during monsoons,” said Yogesh Dhule, a vegetable trader at the market.
Deepak Jaiswal, who owns a fruit shop at the market, added, “Water accumulates in the passages near the commercial blocks every year. This makes life difficult for both suppliers and customers.”
When we visited the site, we could see water right at the entrance, and also near the shops. Traders further blamed the board for not acting on their complaints, which, they say, have been made many times.
The Vashi APMC market spans an area of 170 acres, and has over 3,700 godowns, 1,500 commercial blocks, two huge warehouses and five large wholesale markets which stock vegetables, fruits, grain, spices, and onion-potatoes.
Kirti Rana, director of APMC, agreed that the contractors were doing a hack job at cleaning the market. However, he said the APMC was preoccupied with some other work to take action against them. “At present, we are busy completing the concretisation work across all APMC yards. This project will be completed by December this year. As far as cleanliness is concerned, the contractors hired for the job are not doing it properly, despite us giving several warnings. We know the problems of the market and will take necessary steps wherever required.”
170 acres: Total area over which the APMC market in Vashi is spread