Coronavirus Lockdown: Bhubaneswar witnesses shortage of vegetable supply
Bhubaneswar: As Odisha entered Day-14 of the lockdown, Bhubaneswar is witnessing an acute shortage of vegetable supply following the two-day shutdown on April 4 and 5 leading to steep rise in prices.
“Truckloads of vegetables en route to Bhubaneswar couldn’t enter the capital city due to the abrupt two-day shutdown which resulted in huge losses. Therefore, the traders now are not taking risk to import vegetables to Bhubaneswar which has led to the shortage of green groceries since the last two days,” informed Kabiraj Swain, Secretary of Green Vegetable Vendors Association at Unit-I Market here.
“There is only 60 percent availability of vegetables in the markets of capital city,” said Swain.
Earlier, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had identified 68 locations in the capital city for the retail vegetable vendors of Unit-I haat.
“The retailers of Unit-1 haat were shifted to 68 locations in the city to do their business. Though the move will have adverse impact on the trade of vegetable vendors, we welcome the move of the administration to tackle the spread of coronavirus,” added Swain.
He further stated the local vegetable farmers are also not coming to Bhubaneswar to sell their produce due to the repeated shifting of markets, which is adding to the shortage of green groceries and steep rise in its prices.
“There were sufficient vegetables in store few days back but as the traders had to suffer loss, they are not willing to import green vegetable,” said Swain adding that if traders are allowed to do business inside Unit-I market, the vegetable prices can be regulated.
Expressing resentment over the current situation, a vegetable vendor near Rama Devi Women’s University said, “In order to avoid crowd in Unit-I haat, we were shifted here. We went to the market today but as there is short supply, we did not get vegetables. If this continues, the rates will definitely increase.”
Meanwhile, the BMC has rolled out mobile van service for the delivery of essentials at doorstep to ensure people get groceries and vegetables during the ongoing lockdown period.
People can order groceries and vegetables over the phone by dialing numbers of the BMC mobile vans. The civic body has made 120 such vans operational to supply groceries & vegetables and is proposing to increase the number to 200.