While the Maharashtra government has reopened the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) - Mumbai's largest wholesale market in Vashi, Republic TV's Editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy, on Saturday, has reported that several trucks have offloaded, replenishing the supplies for groceries, oil, vegetables at the APMC. But due to no storage facilities available, several trucks have been stranded at the APMC for the past 8 days. Maharashtra's Food Minister Chhagan Bhujbal had announced on Wednesday that the two largest markets in the city Dadar and Byculla would be opened on Wednesday, while the APMC market will be opened on Thursday. Maharashtra was one of the first states after which announced a state-wide lockdown amid the pandemic spread of Coronavirus.
Speaking about the disruption in the supply of fruits and vegetables one of the truck drivers - Varadarajan said," We have been waiting here for the past 8 days. We are carrying coconuts in our truck. We can't move because of the lockdown. Will have to wait here for the next 21 days."
The trucks carrying vegetables and fruits are offloaded at the APMC yard every day between 2 AM and 11 AM, but have not been able to store their produce. Visuals from the market's yard show that there is no shortage of supply as trucks are seen offloading sacks of vegetables like onion, cauliflower, etc. While there were reports of supply shortage on Friday, the wholesale yard's stock has been replenished on Saturday. The entire yard is seen with several trucks filled with produce - stranded, unable to transport the goods to the city's markets.
On the other hand, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has assured the state that the supply of essential goods and services will remain unhindered amid the lockdown. Maharashtra DGP Subodh Kumar Jaiswal remarked, “Very clear instructions have been given to all units of the Maharashtra Police down the line to the last constable that there should be unhindered movement of essential goods and services to all concerned. This includes trucks and other vehicles which are involved in the movement of goods and services. And we have also set up helplines in all the districts."
On March 14, the Thackeray government invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act declaring the Coronavirus as an epidemic - declaring all gyms, swimming pools, malls, theatres, pubs shut in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pimpri-Chinchwad till March 31 amid the rising cases of Coronavirus. With the railways shutting down its services on March 22 marking 'Janta Curfew', the Maharashtra government extended a state-wide curfew, stopping all transport services across districts. After PM Modi announcing a 21-day lockdown, Maharashtra too enforced the same as the state recorded the highest number of cases at 180.