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City’s favourite grocery goes green

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
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Koyambedu market to be a symbol of State’s commitment to combating global warming

Earth-friendlyThe complex will feature rainwater harvesting structures and solar lighting—Photo: S.S. Kumar
Earth-friendlyThe complex will feature rainwater harvesting structures and solar lighting—Photo: S.S. Kumar

Koyambedu market, the city’s retail hub for fruits, vegetables and flowers, has now been declared a green complex.

This is part of an initiative towards marking the city’s commitment to challenging global warming and climate change. Authorities also hope it will help counter allegations of the decrease in tree cover in the city because of the metro rail construction — most of the market complex’s land has been handed over to Chennai Metro Rail Ltd., for construction work in the area.

The decision was taken by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and on Thursday, housing and urban development minister R. Vaithilingam, in the presence of Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy, commenced work on planting 1,000 trees on the market premises.

Apart from tree cover and flowering bushes, the complex will feature an aesthetically-designed landscape with a Rs. 2.5 crore new compound wall, rainwater harvesting structures and solar lighting.

At present, several civic projects are underway in the market complex, including augmentation and maintenance of the infrastructure, worth Rs. 33.63 crore. Most of this work, that includes the creation of new stormwater drains over 9 km long, widening of roads and concretisation of a 350-metre road connecting gate 7 and 14, which is used by heavy vehicles to carry perishables to the market complex, has been completed.

Work amounting to about Rs. 4 crore is still underway, including the storwater drain network. The funds for the project were collected under infrastructure and amenities charges from builders.

Once this is completed, work on making the complex more environment-friendly will gather momentum. However, the preparation of estimates for most of the green work is underway.

Senior officials of the housing and urban development department also inspected the work on Thursday.

The Koyambedu market complex was planned in an area of around 295 acres and the wholesale market for perishables has been developed in an area of around 60 acres under the first phase. It has 3,194 shops for vegetables, fruits and flowers.

The market has two blocks for vegetable shops and one each for the fruit and flower markets.

A CMDA official said work on making the complex green will have a major impact on the city, as the market borders the Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus where thousands congregate every day, and construction of the metro rail is also on in the area.

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