Soon, you can get cheap veggies in your housing society

If buying vegetables from your local bhajiwala has made your household budget go up in smoke, relief might be just around the corner; in fact, in your own housing complex.

City developers have decided to set up at least 100 shops, along the lines of Apna Bazaar, in various housing societies where fresh vegetables will be sold at subsidised rates.

The move comes in the wake of rising vegetable prices in the retail market which are pinching consumers. As the number of corporate sector-sponsored centres called Apna Bazaar aren’t enough to tackle the growing number of vegetable buyers, the state government has appealed to city developers, particularly those who have developed the bigger housing complexes, to set up shops that will sell vegetables at cheaper rates. The government will supply the vegetables.

A senior government official said that in the retail market vegetables are being sold at rates double and triple than those in the wholesale market.

“And the scapegoat in all this is the consumer. For instance, in the wholesale market, tomato costs Rs30 per kg, whereas in the retail, the rate is double that, Rs60. We don’t have any control over these street vendors from whom 90% of the people buy vegetables.

Hence, we want to smash this well-entrenched cartel by setting up as many shops in housing societies as possible. We had a meeting with several developers and they are willing to set up the shops,” the official added.

Vimal Shah, president of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry, said they will set up at least 100 Apna Bazaar-like shops in various places in the city.

“The state government is giving the locations where it can supply vegetables. So, as per the demand, we will ask our developers to set up the shops. We have circulated a note regarding the same within our developer community,” he said.

Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson at Nahar Group, said, “We are checking out the nitty-gritty of the proposal. We need to have enough space to set up such shops. There are some developers who have that space and they may go ahead. We will try our best to work out this idea to benefit the people.”

Prakash Bobade, assistant general manager at Ajmera Group, said they too are working out the idea of setting up these shops, while sources close to Kalpataru Group said they have decided to set up the shops in their prominent housing complexes across the city.