Plans to build a modern wholesale fish market at the place

Tiruchirapalli City Corporation has drawn up a proposal to shift the vazhakkai mandi, the wholesale banana market, currently functioning adjacent to Gandhi Market, to Viragupettai, notwithstanding reservations expressed by traders.

The move comes in the wake of the recent inspection of the site by Mayor A. Jaya and senior corporation officials.

During the inspection, the Mayor instructed the officials to construct shops at Viragupettai Overhead Drinking Water Tank (OHT) complex for accommodating some of the traders of the banana market. The proposal would now be placed before the corporation council for approval.

As per the proposal, all the 66 banana traders are to be shifted to Viragupettai OHT complex, which officials say is close to the existing mandi.

The corporation says Virugupettai OHT complex has been cleared of encroachments and has space for accommodating the banana traders. Gandhi Market, officials point out, was established about 70 years ago, and it is currently facing severe space constraint.

The wholesale banana market located adjacent to it on the roadside is causing congestion.

The civic body proposes to create the necessary infrastructure for the banana traders at the Viragupettai site. Once the banana market is shifted, it plans to build a modern wholesale and retail fish market at the place with financial assistance from National Fisheries Development Corporation.

However, representatives of Plantain Traders Association of Gandhi Market say they have not got any information in this regard from the corporation.

They contend it is impractical to shift the wholesale traders in bits and pieces to different parts of the city.

“Shifting us to Virugapettai will not solve the problem as the place does not have required facilities. We do not want to inconvenience the people. We are ready to move if the corporation creates an integrated bus stand with adequate space for our operations,” said K.P. Palanivel of the association.

Although efforts were made to shift some of the wholesale sections of Gandhi Market to G. Corner grounds, the move has been dropped owing to litigation over the land.

Corporation Commissioner V.P. Thandapani has already gone on record stating that the civic body is planning to establish an integrated market and officials say efforts are on to identify a suitable site.