After the lockdown, fruits and vegetables in Kalimati has started rotting. (File Photo/RSS)
KATHMANDU: Kathmandu, which used to consume more than 800 tons of vegetables a day, is hardly consuming 500 tons due to the lockdown enforced to ‘curb’ coronavirus.
The government has assured there will be no scarcity of daily goods and supplies.
The customers are unable to get vegetables in the market while the suppliers are unable to go to collect the vegetables from Kalimati-based vegetables and fruits suppliers.
Kalimati fruits and vegetable market is sans visitors these days, no vehicles, except the ones carrying vegetables, are allowed to enter Kalimati during day time.
Most of the retail vegetable sellers in the valley collect vegetables from Kalimati and supply to the customers all around the valley. The vendors and retailers claim that they are unable to reach there due to coronavirus fear.
Kamala Bhusal, Bouddha has shut her vegetable shop for 6 days. She told Khabarhub that she has locked her shop after the government declared a week-long lockdown.
“I was working under corona-panic,” Bhusal said, “I had some vegetables left in the shop, I brought it home and using it in lockdown.”
Many vendors like Kamala have confined themselves home to keep themselves safe from coronavirus transmission.
Vegetables rotting in Kalimati
After the vendors and other vegetable sellers have confined themselves at home, the fruits and vegetables in Kalimati has started rotting.
Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Committee has complained that it has to witness tons of fruits and vegetables rotting under its nose when the news about vegetable and fruits black marketeering get wider space in media.
Binaya Shrestha, the information official at Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development committee informed Khabarhub that there has been an inflow of 5-6 tons of vegetables and fruits at Kalimati based wholesale market.
“Generally, the vegetables from Kavre, Dhading, Nuwakot among other neighboring districts and India are brought to Kathmandu.
The committee has allocated some morning and evening hours for buying and selling fruits and vegetables from Kalimati.
“Considering the possibility of the crowd at the market during the afternoon, we close the market in the afternoon,” Shrestha told Khabarhub, “the wholesale market is open from 2 a.m.- 7 a.m. in the morning and the retailers open from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m.”
Shrestha was sad that the vegetables were rotting as they had to shut down the shop during day time. “ The consumption rate is far lower than the import these days,” Shrestha spoke sadly, “ the fruits and vegetables are decaying.”
Consumers pay ‘doubled’ price
While comparing the price list at the Kalimati market, the fruits and vegetables have not gone much expensive despite lockdown, but the retailers have hiked the price making it almost double.
The tomato the retailers buy at 80 rupees per kg becomes 150 rupees per kg for the consumers.
Cauliflower, onions, beans have gone most expensive in retail shops.
Green chilies have doubled. Green chilies cost 110 rupees per kg 5 days before, but on Sunday the rate reached 330 rupees per kg. Today, on Tuesday, the rate shown in the list is 160 rupees, but the vendors are still selling at the rate of 330 rupees per kg.
The consumers were optimistic of getting those supplies at lower costs during a lockdown.
“It’s good that we are getting vegetables during the lockdown,” Mina Shakya, “ buying vegetables at Jorpati on Sunday said, “ though the price is a bit high, we have got what we want. I am happy with it.”
Here is today’s price list
On Tuesday morning, the Kalimati market sold tomato (small) at 90, potato (red) at 50, dry onion at 70, garlic at 550, cabbage at 40, cauliflower at 50 rupees per kg. and green chilies at 160 rupees per kg.