Coimbatore

Vendors return to flower market

Flower vendors have returned to the old Flower Market on Mettupalayam Road in the city on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Siva SaravananS

Nearly 200 flower vendors have returned to the Flower Market on Mettupalayam Road after vacating the Devanga Higher Secondary School ground over the weekend.

Sources in the Corporation and within the vendor community said the vendors returned because the school would reopen for Class X and Plus Two students on Tuesday.

The 197 vendors, who returned, included the 144 traders who had rented platform shops and 28 traders who had rented ‘stall shops’. The rest were makeshift sellers who paid toll to the contractor who had taken on Market maintenance.

Prior to their return, the Corporation had demolished those structures that the vendors had erected till the edge of the Road, obstructing access to those who set up stalls inside, the sources said and added that if the Corporation did not evict those who had encroached upon the Road with their makeshift shops, the purpose behind the recent eviction drive would have no meaning.

For, the occupation of the road would continue to hinder vehicle movement and facilitate unauthorised parking of vehicles.

The traders also said they had requested the Corporation to completely waive off the rent for the period the civic body had shut down the market. Though the State government had announced a two-month waiver, in their case, it would not be sufficient as they had returned to the market only now, after a gap of over four months.

As for the reopening of the new stalls constructed at the new flower market on the eastern side of the Mettupalayam Road, the traders said they were given to understand that the Corporation had withheld the allotment of shops through auction because of a legal dispute.

As and when the Corporation went with allotting shops, it should prioritise the allotment to those who could not return to the old market, the vendors demanded.

The Corporation sources said they had asked the traders to observe physical distancing norms and other COVID-19 safety protocol.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 3:45:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/vendors-return-to-flower-market/article33603703.ece

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