In the Valley, one can easily purchase decaying vegetables from local markets at heavy discounts. The Kalimati Wholesale and Retail Market is one such place where local restaurant and small hotel owners buy ‘lightly damaged’ veggies at 50 to 80 per cent discounts. This shows that profit motive is the sole guiding factor for both the vendors, who readily sell the leftovers to prevent wastage, and the hoteliers, who are attracted by cheaper rates. Sadly, both utterly lack any sense of responsibility towards the society. They should keep in mind that they are accountable to the public and should not endanger public health to save a few rupees.
Consumption of damaged food items causes food poisoning and other gastroenteric diseases. And yet there is no proper mechanism to regulate the vegetable and fruit markets, and as a result, the unhealthy practice prevails. There is a great danger that some sort of epidemic might break out sooner than later if this trend continues. Yes, all businesses have the right to earn profit, but not at the expense of the public. Hence it is important that hotel operators and vegetable vendors act as responsible businessmen. It is equally important that the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board devise an effective mechanism to check the quality of the things sold in its stalls.