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Central Market at Kallikudi inaugurated amid protests

Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inaugurated the newly-built Central Market at Kallikudi, on the outskirts of the city, through video conferencing from Chennai on Tuesday.

The new market, constructed at a cost of Rs 65 crore, is spread on 9.79 acres and is equipped with a 1,000 metric tonne capacity cold storage facility and a host of other facilities.
Traders from Gandhi Market are expected to be shifted to the new complex in a phased manner. Opposing the move, Gandhi Market traders downed shutters on Tuesday. They said that Gandhi Market, which has 3000 shops, provides direct and indirect employment to around 25,000. The move will affect their livelihood and also cause difficulties to the public, who will have to travel a long distance to reach the new market, which is 12km away from the city. The traders are also planning to hold a series of protests against the relocation.
According to officials, once the wholesale shops at Gandhi Market are relocated to Central Market, it will help reduce traffic congestion, pollution in the heart of the city. They said the new complex is a two storey building with 500 shops on each floor . The market will have a range of facilities like parking lot for heavy vehicles, weigh bridge, grading and sorting hall, conference hall, cold storage with a capacity of storing 2000 metric tonnes of vegetables, bank, canteen, overhead water tank, administrative building, RO plant, RO storage tank, toilets, lifts, generators and a 50 KW solar power plant. A garbage dumping yard is also going to be established on 3 acres for converting garbage into organic manure through rapid composting system.
According to officials, the shifting process would take place in a phased manner after calling for tender. Moreover, for effective performance of the market, it has been proposed to outsource the services like cold storage, security services, canteen, and toilet and garbage maintenance, they said.

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