Kalimati market to open twice a day to reduce crowd
30 Mar, 2020
By Laxman Kafle Kathmandu, Mar. 30: The flow of a crowd of suppliers, traders and consumers at the Kalimati Fruit and Vegetables Market has created fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread among the people. “The market has been drawing a big crowd of people as it is opened only for a certain period of time every day and it is a serious concern for the market management and the traders to avoid the spread of COVID-19,” said Binaya Shrestha, information officer of Kalimtai Fruit and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDB). The government and the concerned authorities have decided for the smooth supply of vegetables in the market. “All stakeholders such as suppliers, traders, retailers, vendors and consumers are compelled to visit the market to purchase and sell vegetables within the time period. The increase in the inflow of people in vegetable market is natural, but we need to adopt preventive measures to remain safe from the virus,” he said. Considering the risk of virus spread, the market management has decided to open the market two shifts a day to reduce the flow of people. “We decided to open the wholesale market from 2 am to 7 am in the morning targeting the retailers and large volume buyers. The retail market will open from 5 pm to 7 pm in the evening targeting the consumers,” he told The Rising Nepal. Likewise, they have decided to sell the vegetables to the retailers and bulk buyers in the same packaging in which they have arrived in the market for the fast movement of people in the market. A meeting held today between the Mayor of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Bidhya Sundar Shakya, representatives of Kalimati Market Management and traders and police took the decision which would come into force from Monday. According to Shrestha, they have decided to ban the entry of motorcycles in the market during the time. The traders of the Kalimati Market also reached a conclusion to stop the import of vegetables from India as there is a high risk of virus from the vegetables imported from India because the Indian people also come to Nepal in the name of supplying vegetables. There is no management to keep the drivers and assistant drivers and other traders, who arrive here from India in quarantine which poses the risk of virus spread, he said. Officiating secretary at the Ministry of Agricultural and Livestock Development Sabanam Shivakoti said that the ministry was discussing with the traders to ensure smooth supply of vegetables in the market during this crisis. Shivakoti, who is also chairman of the FFVMDB, said that they had directed the vegetable suppliers to distribute vegetables also to the retailers so as to ease the supply and make the distribution system more effective during the crisis. She said that supply of vegetables was normal in the market but the quantity was almost half of the normal period. Vegetables are also being supplied from India till date. Daily around 300 tonnes of vegetables are arriving in Kalimati Market at present while it was 800 tonnes before the lockdown. The present supply of vegetables could meet the demand of the valley as a large number of people have gone home due to the fear of COVID-19.