New Delhi: A huge crowd of vegetable vendors and buyers thronged the Ghazipur wholesale fruit and vegetable market here on Friday violating social distancing norms imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The crowd gathered at the entrance gate of the mandi even as the officials tried to enforce social distancing with little success.
"We have been trying to enforce social distancing in view of coronavirus but it seems people were trying to get past one another instead of maintaining proper distance and coming in queues due to lack of awareness,” said Shyamlal, secretary of Ghazipur mandi.
A video showing the massive crowd including vegetable vendors carrying plastic crates jostling for space at the market entrance has surfaced on social media.
According to a senior police officer, chaos prevailed at the market as other mandis in the national capital were closed due to restrictions.
“A meeting was held on Friday with the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) where it was decided that in order to ensure segregated entry, trucks entering the mandi will be allowed from 6 pm till 3 am and buyers will be given permission to enter the market from 4 am,” deputy commissioner of police (East) Jasmeet Singh said.
Earlier, it was decided in a meeting on Thursday that people coming to the mandi to purchase fruits and vegetables will be allowed entry only after 6 am, Mr Singh said.
Since the imposition of lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus epidemic, the agricultural produce marketing committees of various wholesale fruit and vegetable markets in the city are facing problems of overcrowding.
At the Azadpur wholesale vegetable and fruit market, 16 peopl have been found positive for the virus while a trader at the mandi died due to Covid-19 recently.