The co-operative stores chosen by the government to sell vegetables at affordable prices, do not have adequate space to stock enough vegetables according to traders of Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC), who are overseeing the entire operation. Traders from APMC who are present at the stores to monitor the delivery and purchases of these lower-priced vegetables, feel the space provided to them is so small that they cannot stock enough to meet customer demands.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, wholesale traders said that the number of shoppers at the cooperative stores has been increasing over the last 48 hours. Ajit Borhade, who is supervising the sale of vegetables at a store in Ghatkopar’s Pant Nagar, said the number of shoppers queueing up to buy veggies was so high on Friday evening, that they had to keep the shop open till 9.30 pm, an hour after scheduled closing. “Sometimes it’s difficult to fit in different kinds of vegetables which we get from the market, into such a small space. If we had more space we could easily sell more,”he said.
Another trader Sachin Bankar complained of a similar space crunch at the Mulund co-operative store. “If the space was just a little bigger, we could easily have stored more vegetables. The heavy rains have also resulted in less quantity of veggies landing up at our store today,” he told SMD on Saturday afternoon. Indeed, Friday’s downpour seems to have taken a toll on the supply of vegetables from APMC. On Saturday, just 8 to 10 tons of vegetables were supplied to stores all over the city compared to 11 tons on Thursday and 17 tons on Friday. Speaking to SMD, Shankar Pingale, director of APMC vegetable market admitted that the downpour had resulted in a lot of vegetables getting spoilt.
Wholesalers, are extremely happy due to the co-operative stores that are being set up by the government. “We are happy that we are getting paid directly by customers. Generally at the wholesale market, we give vegetables on credit but here we are able to recover our cost the moment the vegetables are purchased by customers,” said Borhade.