Officials say the land identified at G. Corner Ground involved in litigation

The Tiruchirapalli City Corporation’s plan to shift some of the wholesale sections of the Gandhi Market to G.Corner grounds has failed to make any headway so far. And indications are that the civic body is likely to have a rethink on the issue in view of certain legal and procedural impediments with respect to the G.Corner site.

Sources in the corporation indicated that there was some litigation over ownership of some parts of the G. Corner grounds. Besides the site was classified as water body and land classification would have to be changed if the market were to be shifted there.

“These are issues which could take some time to get cleared and it is a moot point whether it is wise for us to invest at the site,” a corporation official told The Hindu on Thursday.

In February this year, the corporation council approved the decision and adopted a resolution for shifting the wholesale traders of onion, banana, jaggery, and fruits, currently functioning around Gandhi Market in the city, to G.Corner grounds along the Tiruchi-Chennai bypass in the city.

The council asked officials to implement the decision in consultation with the traders concerned after some councillors expressed doubts on whether the G.Corner ground would be big enough and suitable for the traders.

Subsequently in April, although a section of the wholesale traders, especially banana traders, opposed the move, the corporation officials commenced site clearance works and affirmed that the grounds would be paved with “cut stones” and shops would be built there to accommodate the traders.

The corporation move had come after more than a decade-long search to identify a suitable site to shift the wholesale traders functioning around the Gandhi Market failed. An official resolution approved by the council pointed out that Gandhi Market, established around 70 years ago, had been facing severe congestion. Traffic around the market often came to a standstill as the wholesale mandis were all situated around the market.

About five acres of land was still available at G. Corner grounds after a slaughterhouse was established on a 6.42 acre-site. Being close to the highway, the site would be ideally suited for traders to carry on their business without any hindrance to traffic, it was argued. Although the onion wholesale traders were willing to move over, banana and fruits wholesale merchants were reluctant to shift saying that they need to be closer to the retail market.

The corporation had planned to persuade the traders to shift through talks. But representatives of wholesale traders associations say the civic body had not initiated any talks with them in this regard so far. “Though there were reports that we will be shifted to G. Corner, so far nobody has talked to us. We are willing to shift anywhere. However, it will be better if an integrated wholesale market is established on the outskirts of the city instead of creating separate markets in different places,” said A. Thangaraj, general secretary, Tiruchi Onion Commission Mandi Traders Association.

Corporation sources said that a fresh discussion was likely to be initiated with the elected representatives to decide the course of action on the matter.