Kathmandu Metropolitan City has brought plans to sell fresh vegetables from 11 different locations in the metropolis.
A meeting chaired by Chief District Officer of Kathmandu, Janak Raj Dahal, decided to sell fresh vegetables from Koteshwar, Lainchaur, Ratna Park, Tinkune, Kalanki, Bafal, Swoyambhu, Banasthali, Basundhara, Gongabu and Gopikrishna Hall Chabahil.
According to Ishwa Man Dangol, the spokesperson for the KMC, the metropolis was holding talks with vegetable dealers regarding operation of temporary vegetables markets in the 11 locations within the city. “
According to Dangol, they are cooperating with vegetables dealers of all the 11 places for operation of vegetable market. “We are planning to ask vegetable dealers near these 11 locations to operate the temporary markets,” he said, adding: “We are discussing with vendors the necessary precautions that need to be adopted.” He, however, did not elaborate on the specific date to operate the shops.
“We are taking needful precautions before these temporary markets come into operation as they will see huge crowds like the Kalimati and Balkhu markets.”
According to the KMC, these markets will open once a day till 8 am in the morning. Vendors will be required to take prescribed precautionary measures as well as wear face masks and arrange hand-wash facility.
Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market and Balkhu Vegetable Market are the two major suppliers of fruits and vegetables in the Kathmandu Valley. The metropolis felt the need to open temporary markets at different places as these two markets were seeing huge crowds making it difficult for authorities to enforce social distancing.
As vegetable is an essential commodity, the government has allowed transportation and distribution of vegetables even during the lockdown. India is a major supplier of fresh vegetables to Nepal. As the number of COVID-19 cases in the southern neighbor is on the rise, it is important to take necessary precautions while handling vegetables to contain the COVID-19 spread.
“The operation of temporary vegetables markets at 11 locations will help to decrease crowd at Kalimati and Balkhu markets and lower the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. Also, it will help to control arbitrary pricing of vegetables,” according to Binaya Shrestha, the information officer of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board
According to Shrestha, 400-430 tons of vegetables are being supplied to Kathmandu Valley on a daily basis. “The supply is higher than the demand in the market at present,” he added.