Failure to publicise vegetable price listcauses concern among residents in Coimbatore

‘Civic body should ensure that every vehicle has the rates displayed’

To help the city’s residents buy vegetables during the lockdown, the Coimbatore Corporation has deployed its vehicles and permitted private vehicles to deliver goods at residents’ doorsteps.

But the civic body’s failure to share the price of vegetables appears to undo the efforts it has taken to help the public, because most buyers seem to be unaware of the price.

On an average, the Corporation records sale of over 150 tonnes vegetables a day. The number of vehicles deployed to deliver vegetables and fruits is over 1,300 a day.

The vehicles reach all the 100 wards as the number indicates that each ward sees over 10 vehicles. But the price at which the vendors should sell is not available with the public as the Corporation, it appears, has no mechanism to disseminate the information, rue the residents.

“We, residents, see vehicles selling vegetables at our apartment gate. And, if the vehicles are not coming for a day or two, we know whom to contact. But there’s no information on the price we should buy,” complains C.R. Sreedar, a resident.

At least by 7 a.m. everyday, the Corporation should share the information with the public. And, it is not a tough ask given the various channels available – FM radio stations, social media platforms, etc. Or the Corporation can upload the daily price list on its Facebook page or Twitter handle for the public, he adds.

The Corporation should also focus on the quality of vegetables supplied as it is very poor and cannot be stored for more than a day, rues S. Bala Murali, another city resident.

The failure to release the vegetable price list in advance seems to undo whatever the Corporation has done to supply essential commodities to the city’s residents, says consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon.

The civic body should ensure that every vehicle – its own and permitted private ones – has the price list displayed and also the number of the control room that the Corporation has established to monitor supply of vegetables.

He adds that the Corporation’s failure in disseminating information is not restricted to vegetables but also to vaccination. The civic body does not share in advance – at least a day earlier – how many vaccines it plans to administer in vaccination centres in schools. This lack of information has forced the public to go on a vaccine hunt, from one centre to another.

Since May 29, the Corporation has received nearly 600 calls at the control room for vegetable supply. Of those, more than 560 were regarding deployment of vehicles and fewer than 10 were regarding pricing.

Corporation officials say they will look into the issue.

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