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Veggie prices soar after ban on heavy vehicles takes effect

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A day after the district administration implemented the ban on entry of heavy vehicles into Gandhi market, traffic congestion in and around the market vicinity came down considerably. However, due to difficulty in moving the produce to the market for wholesale and retail sales, prices of vegetables soared by 20 to 40% on Sunday.

Though a section of traders moved to the new integrated market in Kallikudi, another section of traders continue to operate their shops from Gandhi market.

“We are hiring one heavy vehicle to deliver the produce till Palpannai and another mini truck to transport the vegetables to the market from our temporary hub. As the transportation cost has gone up, we have no other option but to hike the vegetable prices,” U S Karupiah, president of Gandhi Market Vegetable Sellers Association, told TOI. Prices for country and English vegetables have increased by Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kg after the ban.
Besides the increased transportation cost, vegetable traders said that the ban has been delaying the movement of vegetable produce to market for both wholesale and retail sales. Traders said that the impact of market relocation resulting in increase in vegetable prices is likely to continue for a week.
From Saturday, the ban came into effect to facilitate the shifting of Gandhi market traders to the integrated vegetable market at Kallikudi.

Most of the trucks carrying vegetables to market, for the time being, started using a private land as makeshift market near Palpannai to distribute vegetables to central districts. With at least 50 trucks including 15 multi-axle trucks (more than 12 wheels) not entering the market locality every day through Palpannai junction and EB road, the market vicinity close to EB road and Dharbarmedu appeared free of traffic congestion.
“Traffic snarls have come down to an extent particularly near EB road banana auction centre. But congestion on the Thanjavur main road junction remains the same due to haphazard halting of city buses,” said S Kanagasabai, resident of Varaganeri.
Welcoming the ban, residents also sought the streamlining of city buses that always halt away from the bus stops, affecting vehicular movement.
Meanwhile, though Kallikudi integrated vegetable market was inaugurated on Saturday to coincide with the ban on entry of heavy vehicles, the waste generation at the market has not seen a plunge. Corporation sources said that the market as usually continued to produce 40 tonnes of waste per day.

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