Former Mayor P. Kulandaivelu has flayed the Corporation’s proposal to set up 100 shops around the Vandiyur channel area, saying it will flood the city and endanger the lives of patients travelling in ambulances.

Mr. Kulandaivelu recalled that during his tenure as Mayor, the then Corporation Commissioner, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, had relocated shops on Panagal road taking into consideration the traffic scenario near the Government Rajaji Hospital, way back in 1997.

“Now the present administration is trying to put up fresh roadblocks,” he said.

He said that covering the drainage channel was not advisable and recalled how such a structure near Sellur had flooded Kattambomman Nagar in the past.

He pointed out that some ruling party councillors had objected to the proposal.

A Corporation official disclosed that an official from the Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation had advised the Corporation against covering the channel in the past.

A peek into the parking condition at the Meenakshi Bazaar, developed by the Corporation, on Scot Road, would raise doubts about the corporation’s proposal for Panagal Road. Parking will go haywire.

“We (the shopkeepers) bring at least two vehicles per shop every day,” said P. Ramaiah, president of Sri Meenakshi Bazaar Small-scale Merchants Association.

He recalled that the platform vendors on West Tower Street set up their shops on Scott Road back in the 1970s after the police evacuated them.

“It was an isolated place those days. Initially, we had our shops on the platform. Over the years, we turned it into to a bazaar with shops constructed at our cost,” he said.

“Only time will tell whether the city can afford to have another bazaar on one of its main thoroughfares.”

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