Transactions up to Rs. 5 lakh take place every day in the yard
At a cursory glance, one may not find anything remarkable about the ‘Tarakari Mala', a four-acre vegetable yard off M.G. Road here. But, many a eyebrow would be raised if they were to realise that transactions up to a whopping Rs. 5 lakh take place in this vegetable market every day.
Farmers from Mysore taluk converge on this vegetable yard at about 4 a.m. with vegetables of all varieties to sell them to merchants (mostly farmers again) at the site. Business comes to a close between 11 and 11.30 a.m.
Citizens abound the place in the early hours when the merchants stick to the quoted prices of commodities, which may be relaxed in the later hours. “We try to wrap up by 11.30 a.m.,” Rajanna, president of the Siddartha Tarakari Belegarara Mathu Maratagarara Sahakara Sangha, an association of the farmers and merchants here, told The Hindu .
Much earlier, the vendors (merchants) carried out their business near Lansdowne building, and later shifted close to the Palace premises. The Mysore City Corporation and the Mysore Urban Development Authority shifted them to the present location later.
The vendors would leave huge quantity of litter after they left for the day, defiling the surroundings, which necessitated their relocation, sources said. Farmers come here from various parts of Mysore taluk such as Siddalingapura, Kalastavadi, Salundi, Mellalli and Rammanahalli.
The MUDA has built sheds close to the spot from where the merchants sell vegetables, but the space has been lying unutilised for the past three years. An individual from Bangalore had moved the court claiming the land belonged to him, Somanna, a member of the association said. The merchants are sore about the fact that Mysore District in-charge Minister S.A. Ramdas is impervious to their plight for they had to sit in the open sun all the time. Another merchant said the four-acre land was a ‘gomala' (grazing land) given over to the State Government by the former rulers of Mysore. Mr. Rajanna, however, claims the four acres of land were sanctioned in favour of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti by a former Deputy Commissioner of Mysore. The best part about the market is that no middlemen are allowed here, Mr. Rajanna, who is also the Dalit Sangarsha Samiti (Bettaiah Kote wing) city unit president, said.
All farmer-merchants have been provided identity cards to sell vegetables, and no one else would be allowed to sell at the spot. If any merchant was found on the wrong side, he/she would be suspended from selling vegetables for 15 days at a stretch.
The farmers and merchants formed a cooperative society three months ago to help farmers in need of financial assistance. They extend loans up to Rs. 5,000 to merchants at one per cent interest rate.