Heavy rains got the better of the shoddy infrastructure at Asia’s biggest wholesale market
While heavy showers on Friday created havoc in the island city of Mumbai, the situation inside Asia’s biggest wholesale agricultural market was no different.
Remains of rotten fruits and vegetables were spread all over the premises of the APMC market in Vashi
Even though there was no major waterlogging reported in Navi Mumbai, it were the traders and customers at the APMC market in Vashi who got a bitter taste of the heavy downpour. Despite being Asia’s biggest agricultural wholesale market, APMC’s infrastructure still remains poor, resulting in waterlogging inside the premises.
On Friday too, roads and entry gates of the grain and vegetable market were inundated. Suppliers and customers had a difficult time moving inside the market. Further, several commercial blocks sprouted leakages, and remains of rotten fruits and vegetables were spread all over the premises.
Due to the heavy rains across Mumbai and neighbouring regions, train services were suspended, due to which many retailers did not turn up in the wholesale market, resulting in stock not getting cleared. Traders fear that the produce would get spoilt in the rains if not sold within a few days.
Every year, when the rains have lashed the satellite city, the APMC market resembles a disaster zone. Traders say that flooding inside the market is a common scene every year. Despite the funds available, the drainage system goes for a toss during every monsoon, they added. “Waterlogging inside our blocks is a common thing every year.
Despite that, the authorities are least bothered on improving the infrastructure of the market, which is said to be Asia's biggest," said a trader. Traders revealed that they try to sell the produce on the same day when it is brought into the market, as they do not have special individual storage facilities. "If the produce is not sold, we cover it up and keep it at a safe distance to avoid further damage," traders said.
No major waterlogging incidents were reported across the satellite city; however, the Turbhe MIDC police station near Juinagar railway station was partially submerged in water.
This station gets submerged during every monsoon. “This happens every monsoon. The police station gets flooded; however, no one is bothered. Only this year the flooding level inside the station premises has reduced after construction of a drainage subway," said an official from the police station.
Sanjay Pansare, director, APMC fruit market, said, “The supply in the market was as usual on Friday. On an average 500 trucks had come. However, heavy rains hampered the sales as many retailers could not reach the market.
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As these are perishable items, the stock should be dispatched within a few days, else it would start rotting.” Shivaji Pahinkar, secretary, APMC Vashi, said, “Usually during heavy monsoon such situations occur. However, we are already ready with the necessary back-up and have appointed an agency to look after the work.”