LAHORE - Two groups of commercial agents representing owners and renters operating at Fruit and Vegetable Market Ravi Road staged a protest yesterday over use of auction shed.

The dispute grew stronger during past several weeks and the situation got worst when both groups led by number of supporters blocked the Grand Truck Road for two hours, briging all kinds of traffic to a halt.

Agents divided in two groups, in large number, took their trucks full of vegetables and fruits to GT Road until administration intervened and struck a deal between both groups. Now, shed number 2 from shop number 39 to 10 will be used for the auction of tomato; while the same auction shed number 2, from shop number 18 to shop 36, will be used for the auction of onion.

The City Administration is planning to shift the fruit and vegetable market to some other place, as usage of the place of auction, which takes place every morning under the supervision of Administrator Market Committee, has been creating problems for visitors.

Haji Khalid, secretary general of Arthi (middlemen) Union, said if their demands were not met the protest will stage again.

Shezad Cheema told The Nation that the administration of market committee brokered an agreement between the two groups and no one will be allowed to violate the agreement. “We are very much vigilant and will not tolerate any delaying tactics by any group of agents. Any delay in the auction will affect city’s needs of fruits and vegetables. We will not let that happen,” Shezad added.

Representatives from both groups were signatory of agreement. They included Haji Muhammad Bashir, Muhammad Bilal Chaudhry, Haji Muhammad Khalid Anwar, Muhammad Zaeem, and Rana Muhammad Imran.