Confusion over setting up temporary wholesale markets

The Thudiyalur weekly market or the Ramar Kovil vegetable market wore a deserted look on Tuesday morning, a day after the Coimbatore Corporation had said it was setting up temporary wholesale vegetable markets there to decongest the M.G.R. Wholesale Vegetable Market on Mettupalayam Road.

Sources said the after the Special Officer for the Corporation for COVID-19 management Veera Raghava Rao and Commissioner P. Kumaravel Pandian inspected the Market on Monday morning and held a discussion with a few traders in the evening, the Corporation had in a release said it had been decided to decongest M.G.R. Wholesale Vegetable Market by establishing temporary markets in the aforementioned places.

The Corporation had also said that traders in the northern part of the city could go to Thudiyalur and those in the southern part to either the T.K. Market or the Ukkadam Ramar Kovil market, which it had permitted only wholesale vegetable trade.

Sources said the Corporation’s plan did not take off on Tuesday because the traders were confused and were yet to agree to the civic body’s proposal. The M.G.R. Wholesale Vegetable Market with 120-odd shops saw over 5,000 persons visit the place to work, deliver vegetables, unload or load goods and purchase the perishables.

It was to reduce the overcrowding during the COVID-19 that the Corporation decided so. But in working out a solution, the Corporation had not included all sections of traders, sources said. The Corporation that had indicated that the retail vegetable sellers at the now-closed Anna Vegetable Market in Saibaba Colony would go to the Thudiyalur shanty to sell vegetables in wholesale were not invited to the Monday’s meeting.

The traders had on Tuesday given representation to the district administration and Corporation, said G.A. Wahab, secretary of the traders’ association at Anna Market.

Sources in the wholesale market said it would be prudent to extend the working time by a couple of hours to decongest the place. This would be better than establishing wholesale markets at two more places because the traders would have to divert vehicles coming in to the city with vegetables to one or two places and it would be difficult for daily wagers engaged in unloading and loading vegetables to reach the new markets, given the lockdown.

The sources also said that the vegetable vendors at the Ukkadam Ramar Kovil market had expressed reservation to sell vegetables from the Ukkadam bus stand and had asked the civic body to let them transact from the Ramar Kovil Street.

After the initial confusion and reservation expressed by traders, the initiative has seen some forward movement, the sources said and added that a temporary wholesale market would start functioning in Thudiyaur from Wednesday.

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