Over a lakh people visit the Koyambedu wholesale market every day. But, this hub of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers lacks basic facilities.
Spread over 150 acres, the complex houses about 3,100 shops. But, it does not have drinking water facilities for visitors. Traders make do with packaged drinking water.
There are no toilets either for visitors. Though the complex has over 60 toilets, they are not properly maintained.
Priya Marimuthu, resident of Perambur, says she has little choice but to walk on garbage strewn across the market. “I shop here regularly as the vegetables and fruits are cheap. Officials must take action to maintain cleanliness on the premises,” she says.
Members of the Koyambedu Market Licence Holders Merchants Association say they moved into the complex in 1996. But, the infrastructure in the market has not kept pace with the growth in trade.
Frustrated with the inaction of authorities, traders recently submitted a petition to the Chief Minister. M. Thyagarajan, president of Koyambedu Tomato Traders Association, says the premises lack rainwater harvesting facility and flooding is common during the monsoon.
Traffic congestion is another problem plaguing the market for several years now. With vehicle entry restricted to a single lane from Poonamallee High Road, Maduravoyal due to the Metro Rail project, lorries and omni buses fight for space here, he says.
According to the association members, the market management committee has not been functioning for nearly three years now.
S. Chandran, a wholesale merchant, says there must be water supply connection on the premises. Authorities should also take steps against unauthorised merchants who encroach upon the roads to the market and contribute to traffic pile-up, he says.