New Delhi: Azadpur Mandi, which falls under the North Delhi district, is Asia’s one of the largest wholesale fruit and vegetable markets. On Wednesday, 11 traders associated with the market have tested positive. The authorities said that the traders are not directly connected to the mandi.”The mandi is being properly disinfected. All the shops nearby, where COVID19 positive cases were reported, have been sealed. All the precautionary measures are being taken,” Delhi’s health minister Satyandra Jain said. Also Read - Mumbai to Open Drive-in Vaccination Centres in Several Areas. Check List
It’s a catch-22 situation for Delhi as the market is now functioning round the clock to ensure the uninterrupted supply of essentials in the national capital. Also Read - CM Yogi Issues Fresh Instructions, Tasks Team-9 To Ensure All-Round Effort To Tackle Covid 2.0
“We have set a new arrangement for Azadpur Mandi. It will remain open for 24 hours. From 6 am to 10 pm, vegetables and fruits will be sold like earlier. From 10 pm to 6 am, the truck movement will be allowed in and out of the market. In every four hours, the entry of 1,000 people will be allowed,” minister Gopal Rai had said earlier. Also Read - Extend Karnataka Lockdown by 2 Weeks as State Yet to Reach Peak in Coronavirus Cases, Recommends Expert
To ensure social distancing to contain corona spread, the government deployed 900 civil defence volunteers, 600 cleanliness workers and CCTV cameras at crucial points in the market.
Still, social distancing is thrown to the wind every now and then. But this mandi can’t be closed as that would choke the supply of fruits and vegetables to the capital city.
There were rumours that the market was being closed after the initial cases were being reported. But no such decision has been taken.
On an average, over 14,000 tonnes fruits and vegetables arrive in the market daily. The government had, in between, decided to run the mandi in shifts, but on request from farmers and traders, the system was discontinued.