Pune: The Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) and Khadki police took action against 120 vegetable vendors who were doing business without a permit at the Sanjay Gandhi Vegetable Market on Sunday. Meanwhile, large crowds were seen at the market with social distancing norms being brazenly flouted.
The cantonment board had given relaxation in lockdown for citizens on Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm to shop for essential items including vegetables, fruits, meat and grocery. Citizens stepped out of their homes after a 5-day strict lockdown and rushed towards the market on Sunday morning. As a result, the entire market area was crowded with customers and a large number of legal and illegal vegetable vendors. Social distancing norms were flouted by all, especially the vegetable vendors who had entered the market premises without a permit. The cantonment board has given permits to only 40 vegetable vendors and 20 fruit sellers. However, there were about 160 vendors selling various items in the market.
B S Naik, Anti-Encroachment Officer of KCB and Harish Thakur, Assistant Police Inspector of Khadki police station reached the market on Sunday morning. They swung into action after seeing crowds flouting lockdown norms. Naik asked the vendors with permits to stay while driving out all other vegetable and fruit vendors. These vendors without a permit were later booked under section 188 ((Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code. Police asked the crowd to follow norms.
Naik said, "The cantonment board had given relaxation only on Sunday for the convenience of citizens. But illegal vegetable vendors took undue advantage of the crowd and had entered the market to conduct business without permission. The Khadki Cantonment, Range Hills, Sapras and Khadki market will remain open only between 8 am to 12 noon from Monday (July 20) to Thursday (July 23). Citizens should follow social distancing norms and avoid unnecessary crowding at the market and shops."