Mumbai News

Crowds thin as essentials return to markets and supply steadies in Mumbai – Times of India

MUMBAI: A day after panic buying following the PM’s announcement of a lockdown, Mumbaikars continued to line up at grocery and medical stores, but in fewer numbers. CM Uddhav Thackeray, in an address, once again attempted to allay concerns about supplies depleting during the lockdown.
Thackeray said, “People should not panic, should not gather at grocery shops. Essential commodities will be available and there will be no shortage. Only one person from a family should step out to buy essentials.” The state on Wednesday said food items, vegetables, fruit, groceries and bakery products were exempted from the lockdown and vendors could provide home deliveries by taking appropriate care; it said police would facilitate their movement.
In Bandra’s Pali Market, there was a rush on Wednesday. But cops closed the market road for cars; only emergency vehicles could pass. Shops elsewhere too were stocked with essentials but products like breads, biscuits, ice cream and knickknacks were running out. “Breads got sold off fast but there is ample milk available. I may curtail my stocks over the next few days as sale of milk has reduced compared to the last few days,” said Amit Mehta, a milk vendor from Thane.
The APMC market will stay shut on Thursday as no supplies are expected, but traders and Mathadi leaders are positive about opening it on Saturday. The APMC administration is hoping to make it functional on Friday. Mathadi leaders have assured the administration that workers who left for their home towns will be back by the weekend, provided safety measures are in place in the next two days.
The BMC’s 16 marketsconsisting of 4,280 vegetablefruit vendors and 51 grocery stores—were functionaland continually receiving supply. They saw crowds and early closure after stocks sold out.
BMC officials said they are disinfecting these markets in phases for safety, trying to regulate the crowds with the help of police and convincing buyers not to indulge in panic buying. “On Wednesday, many farmers from neighbouring districts supplied vegetables-grain directly to some of these markets. We are getting the required supply and people should not overcrowd,” said AMC (markets) Prashant Gaikwad.
At Evershine Nagar, Malad (W), a vegetable vendor who was inundated with customers on Tuesday night said supplies came early on Wednesday. “I kept telling everyone on Tuesday night to step back as stocks would be available. Customers came in the morning to purchase vegetables but there was no crowd,” he said.
The BEST operated 1,502 buses on Wednesday, down from 1,971 on Tuesday, to ferry medical staff, police, BMC personnel and others engaged in essential duties. MSRTC special buses have been ferrying essential staff from Panvel, Kharghar, Belapur to Vashi from where they change over to BEST buses to come to Mumbai. Autos and taxis were hardly visible on roads though government has allowed them to function.
The transport department issued a directive saying apart from stickers on heavy vehicles ferrying essentials, transporters will be issued a certificate with a government seal and signature which can be shown at check posts. The e-delivery for staples, Suprdaily, did not deliver milk at many locations. Others like Big Basket, DMart delivery too did not allow customers to book slots.

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