Delay in Fancy Bazar Containment Zone Withdrawal Order Hurting Fruit Vendors
GUWAHATI: With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown taking a toll on all business establishments across Guwahati, the fruit vendors of Fancy Bazar have also been badly hit. Ever since the number of cases began to rise in the city, Containment Zones began to mushroom around the Fancy Bazar area, adversely affecting the fruit vendors.
“There was a case at Aloo Patty, after which our area was declared as Containment Zone. So there are around 25 dealers like us in the Fancy Bazaar area in about a hundred metre radius of the area. Since this was the month of Ramzan, we had stocked our stores with fruits,” said Vishal Kumar Roy, a fruit vendor from Fancy Bazar, talking to G Plus.
Vendors with stocks of fruits like mangoes, oranges and grapes have faced serious losses due to their stocks getting completely damaged. Some vendors are estimated to be having 250-500 expensive apples stocked up which are on the verge of rotting.
“We are really hoping for the government to either give some relaxations with respect to the Containment Zone or help us with cold storage. These are perishable goods that we sell and we have already experienced losses. It has been 14 days since the area was demarcated as a Containment Zone by district authorities. We request the government to either withdraw the order or help us find a way out of this predicament,” said the local fruit seller.
Each of these vendors is said to have stocks worth 3 to 4 lakh rupees and they are seeking help from the government to shift their stock into cold storage facilities in order to ensure that the city’s fruit vending fraternity does not incur any more losses.
“Once fruits have insects in them, they begin to rot and even damage other fruits along with it and this eventually leads to us selling degraded quality fruits. The demand for fruits has been falling since the beginning of the lockdown and it is highly unlikely that sales will pick up anytime soon,” Vishal added.
The vendor also expressed concerns over a labour shortage problem saying, “The workforce has reduced and workers have all returned home due to which we’re not able to find workers.”