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Mumbai's biggest wholesale market is crumbling

Traders at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee in Vashi are alleging that the market lacks basic infrastructure; most of the shops and godowns require urgent repairs, and are unsafe

The hub of wholesale food produce in Mumbai, Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi, is facing an uncertain future. According to the traders and mathadi workers at the market, most of the shops and godowns are in a dilapidated condition, with a majority of them beyond repair.

Traders at the APMC market claim that the crumbling structure poses a serious threat to traders, labourers as well as customers
Traders at the APMC market claim that the crumbling structure poses a serious threat to traders, labourers as well as customers

A trader from APMC said that the market, which handles tonnes of agricultural produce on a daily basis, lacks basic infrastructure, and more than half of its godowns and shops in sub-markets like fruit, vegetables, spices and onion-potato, require urgent repair and are unsafe.

Moreover, facilities like washrooms and toilets are in a pathetic condition, and traders allege that authorities are least concerned, even after they have raised the issue a number of times. They further claimed that the board members have been giving them false promises, while they are not interested in redeveloping the market.

The shoddy condition of the shops and godowns poses a serious threat to traders, labourers as well as customers. During monsoons, leakages are observed in many godowns which ends up damaging the goods.

Official speak
Kirti Rana, director, APMC, said, “We have approached the government, NMMC and CIDCO to resolve the issue. Considering the present demand of the market, we have asked them to reconstruct the market of an international level, in terms of hygiene and facilities.”

Speaking to mid-day, Bharat Dande, NMMC ward officer of Turbhe, said, “We had issued a notice to APMC authorities about the structure being unsafe in 2012. These structures are more than 25 years old and should be redeveloped.”

Voices

An onion trader
We have had several meeting with the board members and have even suggested good ideas for redevelopment. However, they have ignored our problems.

A garlic trader
Already, we suffer losses due to constant fluctuations of food prices; and now we have to bear this issue as well. We cannot afford to repair or renovate the godowns. It is the job of the APMC authorities, since we pay them taxes every month.

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