Fear that their business will be hit and transportation cost more
Sellers say it will be tough for retailers to come to Gudimalkapur and this will directly impact wholesale tradePerishable nature of flowers also contributing to sellers' reluctanceAmbitious plans for new market at Gudimalkapur
Hyderabad: Will their business be nipped in the bud? This is the difficult question facing flower merchants of Jambagh area. They are being asked to shift to Gudimalkapur where a modern flower market is being developed under a NABARD scheme at a cost of Rs. 2.85 crores.
The main idea is to benefit the farmers of Ranga Reddy from where the bulk of flowers come to the city. The plan also aims at decongesting the present market, which is functioning in crammed conditions at Jambagh for the last five decades. However, the traders here are reluctant to move as they feel their business would be hit badly. "For retailers it will be difficult to come all the way to Gudimalkapur and this will directly impact on the wholesale trade," says Mohd. Omer Pasha, chairman, Hyderabad Wholesale Flower Merchants Association.
There are some 80 wholesale dealers and 25 retailers in Jambagh. Till 1984, the wholesale traders used to do business on the main road but later shifted to New Osmangunj nearby. Conditions here are always chaotic with very little space for vehicles to move. The main road is marked for expansion once the market shifts to Gudimalkapur.
Another reason why the flower merchants are unwilling to shift is the highly perishable nature of their products. "Flowers have a life of just 18 hours. We have to sell them at any cost or incur losses. Jambagh is very near the Imlibun bus depot and it is easy for the cultivators to bring the flower bags. Once we shift, the transportation charges will go up and the flowers might also get withered," points out Pasha.
Incidentally, Jambagh is the only wholesale flower market in the city. It gets the merchandise from Bangalore, Mysore, Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district. Flower merchants feel the market is being shifted to benefit cultivators of Chevella, the constituency of Mines & Geology Minister Sabita Indra Reddy. This is however refuted by B. Chenna Reddy, chairman, Agriculture Market Committee. "We want to develop a modern flower market on international standards and benefit the farmers," he says.
He said the flower merchants were now doing business illegally at Jambagh. They had no licence and were not paying any market fee to the Government. In the next two months they will be shifted to Gudimalkapur where two sheds are put up. Minimum facilities like proper shops, internal roads and drainage will be provided in due course.