Krishna KC, My Republica, March 30, 2020
BHAKTAPUR: Retailers of Bhaktapur have been found charging an exorbitant price for fresh vegetables amid lockdown.
The market anomaly came to light during the inspection of vegetable shops by a team of Bhaktapur Municipality on Sunday. The municipality deputed the team for market inspection following complaints from consumers.
The team inspected shops in Ward 10 of the municipality on the day. During the inspection, the team found that retailers were charging arbitrary prices for lime, chilly and tomato, among others. The prices of these vegetables varied with shops.
According to Ram Krishna Prajapati, market inspection officer of Bhaktapur Municipality, wholesalers were found selling chillies at Rs 240-300 per kg. Aash Ram Suwal, market inspector of another ward, told Republica that retailers were selling chillies at as high as Rs 70 per 200 grams.
Bhaktapur Municipality has urged traders to help people in this difficult time instead of taking advantage of the situation. It has also directed retailers to use mask and gloves, and ask customers to make a distance of at least one meter while buying daily essentials.
Meanwhile, District Administration Office, Bhaktapur, is taking stringent measures to manage crowd after largest number of people started congregating in the marketplace in the morning and evening. Humkala Pandey, chief district officer of Bhaktapur, said they felt the need for stringent measure as population density in core area of Bhaktapur is high. “Though only one person from a family are allowed to get out to purchase vegetables and other stuffs, huge crowd can be seen in the vegetable market,” she said, adding that people should be given some time to buy daily essentials.
According to Pandey, there is no problem outside the core area. “Not a single individual has been arrested for violating the lockdown orders so far,” she said, adding that police have warned some jaywalkers to remain at home during the lockdown.
Local administration has already closed vegetable shops at Taumadhi as a big crowd was seen there even during the lockdown. Bhaktapur Municipality has shifted shops there to Gahiti and Kuwachhey. A municipality official said vegetable stalls there have at least 10 feet gap.