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Move us to alternative locations, say vendors

Roadside vendors in Gandhi Market cause traffic congestion, but vendors rue that they have nowhere to go.

Tiruchi City Corporation’s efforts to remove encroachments from Gandhi Market, Woraiyur vegetable market and other areas has caused jitters among vendors, who have been demanding viable alternatives.

The encroachments in both Gandhi market and Woraiyur market consume the platform space. “This is the only place where I can make a survival,” says M. Muthulakshmi, who sells greens in Woraiyur market. “I cannot afford to set up a stall, neither can I go from street-to-street in this scorching sun. If the authorities want us to move, ask them to set up proper market space for us.”

The encroachments clog the already small roads, rue citizens. “In a small city like Tiruchi, all roads are important, and one has to drive through them to get somewhere, as there are no alternative routes. When these roads get clogged with furniture shops’ display on the road, or a vegetable seller, the size of the road shrinks, but the number of vehicles keeps increasing, adding to the traffic,” says S. Muthu, a resident of Thillai Nagar, a crowded locality.

According to the Smart City project, which was drawn up for Tiruchi over two years ago, roads are to be designed equally for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. Keeping the plan in mind, the corporation along with the Collector has been attempting to remove encroachments in a phased manner.

“It is especially difficult when the vendors protest and oppose the plan. But we require the encroachments to be removed. We understand the need of the vendors and are working to draw up a plan to rehabilitate them at a better, more organised location,” said S. Amudhavalli, Chief Engineer, Tiruchi City Corporation.

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