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Gandhi market likely to be relocated in a month

Image result for Kallikudi central market In a major step towards addressing the bottleneck in the city, the district administration is planning to shift the cramped Gandhi Market to the city outskirts. In the first phace, the authorities will relocate the wholesale traders to Kallikudi central market on the Trichy-Madurai National Highway in a month.
The district administration is waiting for an approval from the State government for making modifications such as merging of two shops into one in the new facility. The traders had asked for bigger space for their operations. Besides, about six acres of government land has been identified for setting up a dump yard near the integrated market to process the degradable waste from the facility.
Touted as commercial hub for fulfilling the vegetable requirements of at least 10 districts in central zone, Gandhi Market is more than a century-old facility that witnessed its last expansion during the pre-Independence era.
Though the number of shops have grown over the years, the absence of a proper strategy to decongest the facility was a daily pain for commuters using the market.
The district administration in order to decongest the market, took up the construction works of the integrated vegetable and fruit market in Kallikudi in 2014 at an estimated cost of Rs 65 crore, and subsequently completed the works a few months back.
Resisting the proposal to shift the market, five traders' associations, including the potato and fruits dealers approached the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court and obtained an interim stay for the relocation. However, the stay order was lifted by the bench earlier in June 2017.
After clearing the legal hurdles, the district administration recently conducted a meeting with the traders. The authorities said that traders had pointed out lack of space as reason for their resistance to relocate the market since each the shop in the new market has only 100-150 sq ft space.

"Legal hurdles have been cleared for shifting the Gandhi market. As planned, initially we would move about 200 wholesale vegetable and fruits traders to the new facility. If required, two shops in Kallikudi market will be clubbed and allotted to a single trader," official source said, adding that the district administration plans to shift the market within a month as the in-principal approval has been obtained from higher authorities for modifying the integrated market.
Trichy Collector K Rajamani told ToI that written approval from the Agriculture Department for making structural modifications in the integrated vegetable market could be obtained in a week, and also added that the works once commenced would conclude in a couple of weeks.
"We are determined to shift Gandhi market to Kallikudi in a month. Since development of Gandhi market is part Trichy's smart city plan, decongesting the market is our top priority," Trichy District Collector K Rajamani said.
However, the traders in the Gandhi market raised mixed reactions in shifting the facility even though they acknowledge the traffic congestion caused by the market.


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