Strike by pheri, rehri vendors continues in Sabzi Mandi area

The strike by the pheri and rehri vendors continued on Thursday as well in the Sabzi Mandi area which is managed by the market committee.

The protesters will meet Market Committee chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal on December 29.

"We had outsourced the collection of market fee from these vendors, which are about 800 in number, through e-tender. We have delayed finalising the tenders for two days because of the ongoing problem, and if the vendors don't agree, we will replace them with others," said Lakhowal.

He added, "Rs 50 per day was the fee being charged by the market committee from these vendors. The vendors selling vegetables in trollies were paying Rs 100 a day. We have assured that even the private contractor will charge the same money and if he charges even a single rupee more, I will cancel the tender of the person the same day."

Lakhowal said, "But despite my assurances, they are continuing the strike. Rs 50 a day is nothing for the vendor to pay for selling vegetables in the mandi. There is space for 800 such vendors but more than 2,000 are the applicants. If the protesters do not agree, I will replace them with others. I have already told them. Even the ahrtiyas are with me because they are suffering losses because of this strike."

The vendors, however, have apprehension that the contractor will charge more.

The vegetables were sold at higher prices on Thursday as well. Tomatoes were available at Rs 30 a kg against Rs 10 a kg a few days back while onions also reached Rs 35 a kg against Rs 20 a kg.

Amarvir Singh, president of Wholesale Fruits and Vegetable Association, said, "Now the retailers are taking vegetables directly from us. There is no shortage of vegetables at the market today."

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