After failing to make any headway on its earlier plan to shift some of the wholesale sections of the Gandhi Market to G. Corner grounds, the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation is now toying with the idea of shifting wholesale onion traders to the Sengulam Colony market in the city.
The corporation seemed to have dropped, for all practical purposes, the proposal to shift wholesale onion, banana, jaggery, and fruit markets, currently functioning around Gandhi Market in the city, to G. Corner grounds along the Tiruchi-Chennai bypass. The 2.50-acre site near Sengulam Colony, which had been encroached upon by a few private individuals for several years, was recovered by the civic body a few years ago with the help of the district administration. A market was established on a portion of the land. Recently, the Corporation Council gave its nod for constructing a shopping complex on the site.
After an inspection of the site on Tuesday, Mayor A. Jaya instructed civic officials to shift the onion wholesale section, currently functioning along the Sub-Jail Road outside the Gandhi Market, to the Sengulam Colony. Onion wholesale traders could be shifted gradually to the proposed multi-storeyed shopping complex which would have commercial space for a daily market and parking area, she said.
However, enquiries with the onion wholesale traders at the Gandhi Market revealed that the corporation has not consulted them on the matter so far.
“The corporation has come up with different proposals at various times. But so far, we have not been consulted on the suitability of the site or our requirements,” said a wholesale onion trader on condition of anonymity.
“We are ready to move out provided we get suitable space as we too are facing problems in functioning along the Sub Jail Road,” he said. There are about 70 wholesale traders functioning and each of them requires a minimum of 1,000 square feet of space. Besides, there should be adequate space for movement of trucks and for loading and unloading, according to the traders.
But most of the wholesale traders engaged in onion and other vegetables feel that both traders and consumers would stand to benefit if the corporation built an integrated market to accommodate all of them rather than moving the wholesale sections in bits and pieces to different parts of the city.
Ms. Jaya, who inspected the “vazhakkai mandi” during the day, instructed the officials to construct a new building at the overhead drinking water tank complex at Virugupettai to accommodate some of the banana traders. The mandi is facing acute space shortage and infrastructure constraints. She directed the officials to build rest rooms with toilets and bathrooms at the corporation lorry parking lot on the East Boulevard Road where trucks coming to the Gandhi Market are parked. Commercial space for selling spare parts for trucks would be provided at the parking lot. A community kitchen with a biogas unit would be built at a cost of Rs. 15 lakh near the Amma canteen at Viragupettai.