Coronavirus Outbreak: Vegetables, fruit prices surge in Mumbai markets amid lockdown

Updated: Mar 24, 2020, 12:59 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Many traders alleged that even though enough stocks are being stored at godowns and warehouses, the lockdown has led to a shortage in staff and transportation

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

The prices of fruits, vegetables, meat, and other necessary commodities skyrocketed on Monday after the Coronavirus lockdown forced markets to close. Many traders alleged that even though enough stocks are being stored at godowns and warehouses, the lockdown has led to a shortage in staff and transportation, The Times of India reported

Chaos ensued at the APMC market in Vashi after the shops were closed on Monday. The closure led to a shortage in stocks as wholesalers of the market had shut their shops for an anniversary celebration after a weekly holiday. APMC market director Ashok Walunj was quoted in the report as saying, "The entire market will close from March 25 to 31. The vegetable market will function on Tuesday, though. We can’t risk our lives to coronavirus. Also mathadi workers have left for their native villages."

Due to lack of supply, the surge seen in prices of vegetables was such that in Ghatkopar it was being sold at Rs 40 per 250 gm. In the Lokhandwala market, prices of some vegetables rose from Rs 100 per kg from Rs 80. "When I expressed shock, the vendor said I could take it or leave it since there was no supply," a customer said.

A customer from Tilak Nagar said the prices of lady fingers nearly doubled from Rs 50-60 per kg to Rs 120 per kg with vendors also charging for a few sprigs of curry leaves. In Thane’s Kalwa, apples were sold at Rs 200 per kg, forcing many customers to bargain. Even as meat shops were shut in different parts of the city, the ones that were opened, sold their stocks at a high price as per demand.

Bakery shops are also facing a shortage of bread due to the lack of necessary ingredients to bake with. An owner of a bakery in Mahim was quoted in the newspaper saying, "We are focusing supplies to our hospital clients like Hinduja KEM and JJ since patients cannot be inconvenienced. But we are unable to procure fresh stock of maida to bake bread."

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