AIADMK Councillor says it will ease traffic congestion on Scott Road

Close on the heels of Madurai Corporation giving up its plan to construct 100 shops along the Panagal Road near Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) here in the wake of widespread opposition, an issue was raised in the Council meeting to shift the Meenakshi Bazaar from Scott Road to Mattuthavani.

Terming the decision to not construct shops near the GRH “a public interest move”, AIADMK councillor K.Thiraviam of Ward 23 appealed to Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa at the Council meeting on Wednesday to shift Meenakshi Bazaar from Scott Road to ease traffic congestion during peak hours.

“Traffic near the Head Post Office (off Scot Road) is heavy and meetings and demonstrations are staged there, causing inconvenience to the public. The Corporation may shift Meenakshi Bazaar to Mattuthavani,” he suggested.

He pointed out that the Corporation did not go ahead with the plan to construct 100 shops on the stretch from Thevar statue to Collector’s office owing to criticism in certain quarters. “When you did that in public interest, why not apply the same yardstick to the Meenakshi Bazaar area?,” he asked.

The Councillor brought to the attention of Mr.Chellappa and Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal that the pavements on both sides of the road in front of the GRH had been totally encroached upon by shops. “Two-wheelers are also parked right on the platform. Encroachments must be removed along the Road,” Mr.Thiraviam said.

The Mayor assured the councillor that steps would be taken to ensure free flow of traffic in the city.

On Friday, the councillor told The Hindu that the Corporation could even think of shifting Meenakshi Bazaar to Gandhi Museum-Tamukkam Road (on the Union Club side) as the pavement there was wide enough to accommodate shops.

Meanwhile, members of the Meenakshi Bazaar Shopkeepers’ Welfare Association have objected to the proposal to shift the shops from the Scott Road. “We have 306 shops here. We have been doing business for the past 32 years. When we came here, there was only a pavement. The infrastructure was developed by our efforts. If our shops are shifted, it will be a livelihood problem for us,” said M. Khaja Mohideen, association joint secretary.

The Corporation was collecting a monthly rent of Rs.650 per shop, he added.

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