Tiruchi Corporation has planned to renovate and modernise the 70-year-old Gandhi Market, one of the biggest markets in the State, in a phased manner. The Corporation Council on Thursday gave its nod for hiring a consultant to prepare a master plan to modernise the market.

The market, established in 1940, houses over 725 permanent and pavement shops spread over an area of about six acres. It attracts thousands of traders and consumers every day. An official resolution adopted at the council pointed out that the market has become highly congested given the population growth in the city. Plans to shift the market to the outskirts of the city have been unsuccessful for want of a suitable site. Many of the shops inside the market have become dilapidated and need to be rebuilt. However, renovating the market at one go will not be feasible and the project has to be taken up in phases, segregating the market into different segments.

The consultant would be asked to draw up a plan to renovate and modernise the market in different segments in a phased manner. The Corporation Council also cleared a proposal for the resumption of the construction of a commercial complex at Yanaikulam near Singarathope in the city.

The project, which began in 1991, was stalled and had been mired in litigation between the contractor and the civic body. Following talks, the contractor had withdrawn the case, paving the way for resumption of the project work.

The council gave its nod for the construction of the commercial complex with a parking lot at the basement and 81 shops on two floors at a cost of Rs.19 crore. The corporation would seek to raise funds for the project through government grant of loans or would meet the expenditure from its general fund, the resolution said.