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Shops at Kallikudi market to be modified

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The district administration has forwarded a proposal to the State government to “re-model” the newly established Central Market for Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers at Kallikudi, on the outskirts of the city, to offer bigger shops to wholesale traders.

The move comes in the wake of strong opposition from a “section of traders” of Gandhi Market who were opposing move to shift them. One of the reasons cited by them was that the shops in the new market were too small and did not meet their requirements.

The new market at Kallikudi, built at an estimate of ₹65 crore with assistance from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, was situated about 12 km from the Central Bus Stand and 15 km from the Gandhi Market. The market had been established on an area of 9.79 acres. The project was announced by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in July 2014 when she represented the Srirangam Assembly constituency in the wake of persistent demand for shifting the wholesale section of Gandhi Market to a spacious location.

The traders contend that they were never consulted ever since the proposal to build the central market at Kallikudi was conceived. The market was declared open for public use by Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami last month even as traders of the Gandhi Market went on a 24-hour strike protesting the move to shift them. Of the 1,000 shops at the market, 264 were of 150 sq ft in size and the rest 100 sq ft, according to official sources. The district administration had announced plans to shift the wholesale traders of Gandhi Market to Kallikudi initially.

As the stalemate persists over the shifting of traders, the district administration has decided to address the traders concern by making the shops on the ground floor bigger by merging two shops by dismantling the wall in between. “The 500 shops on the ground floor would be made 250 by removing the walls in between two shops so that the wholesale traders would get shops of the size of 10x20 feet each,” Collector K.Rajamani told The Hindu.

Maintaining that only a section of traders were opposed to the shifting, he affirmed that the administration was willing to meet every requirement of traders. “We have identified a nearby site belonging to the HR & CE Department for creating a parking lot for the market. The land transfer is under process. Land has been identified for establishing a solid waste processing centre. We are taking steps to erect high mast lights on the national highway in front of the market as the traders complained of poor lighting,” he said.

He said that the works would be completed with a month upon obtaining the approval of the government


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