“Develop the Madurai flower market as a model facility in the State, in view of the Geographical Indication tag given to the ‘Madurai malli’ and the commercial importance on account of the said recognition,” the Madras High Court Bench here has told the district administration.

Justice K.K. Sasidharan issued the directions while disposing of a writ filed by 11 members of the Madurai Flower Merchants and Commission Agents Association seeking directions to put in place a proper garbage disposal mechanism and to improve the infrastructure of the flower market.

The petitioners alleged that the Madurai Marketing Committee and the Municipal Corporation neglected the market complex and that there was no garbage disposal mechanism in the market. Altering the original plan of the market, the Madurai Marketing Committee initiated construction of 24 additional shops in the area earmarked for garbage disposal, the petitioners alleged.

The Madurai Marketing Committee filed a counter-affidavit stating that they did not alter the original plan. The 24 additional shops were constructed in the open space adjacent to the garbage disposal point, contended the additional government pleader appearing for the marketing committee.

Two advocate commissioners, appointed by the court, visited the market and submitted a report indicating that at least one to three tonnes of garbage were generated every day in the market. Only two garbage bins were found in the market and the entire surrounding was unclean, they told the court.

Based on the report, Justice Sasidharan directed the marketing committee to identify a vacant space in the market and convert it into a garbage disposal area, which should be well maintained. “The Marketing Committee should provide additional garbage bins and ensure that the garbage is removed by the Madurai Corporation every day,” the judge noted in his order.

He further directed the marketing committee to construct additional toilets in the market and maintain them with the help of self-help groups. “The advocate commissioners have reported that there is no provision for drinking water in the entire complex. The Madurai Marketing Committee and the Municipal Corporation are directed to provide drinking water facilities in larger public interest. The number of sanitary workers must be increased and the premises kept clean,” he noted.

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