Madurai

Bus stand traders seek re-allotment of shops

Demanding allotment of shops in the renovated Palayamkottai bus stand at nominal rental charges, traders, who had their shops before the renovation commenced a year ago, staged a dharna here on Monday.

After closing down their shops, the traders, who gathered at the ground on South Bazaar, raised slogans in support of their demands.

According to A.J.M. Solomon, president of Palayamkottai Gandhi Market Traders’ Association, the traders having their shops in the bus terminus for more than 60 years, had to move out following the corporation’s decision to reconstruct the bus stand under the Smart City project. After the traders paid their rental charges without arrears, they were given temporary shops at alternative place. While moving to the temporary shops, they had appealed to the corporation to allot shops again without any precondition after reconstruction of the bus stand.

“Though the corporation had agreed in principle to allot the shops again to the traders, who already had their business there for several decades, the urban civic body, on the completion of the construction of 30 shops in the ground and the first floor, conducted auction for the shops on November 10 last in which only two shops were taken on lease. Hence, the corporation has decided to conduct re-auction for the remaining shops, which is gross violation of its promise of giving shops to the traders,” he said.

He said the “exorbitant” rental charge fixed by the corporation was the prime reason behind the lack of interest among the traders in taking the shops on lease. “While the rental charges for one square feet in a private building near the Palayamkottai is only ₹40 while the Corporation has fixed it as ₹ 200 (excluding GST) for the shops in the ground floor and ₹150 for the shops in the first floor. The traders have to pay up to ₹ 1 crore as deposit to the corporation for the shop while this amount is only ₹1 lakh for shops in private buildings,” he said.

He pointed out that the “unrealistic designing and construction” had transformed the Palayamkottai bus stand into a bus stop now.

“The Palayamkottai bus terminus, which was handling simultaneously several buses and a few thousand students and the public everyday, has become a bus-stop as it can accommodate only 3 or 4 buses at a time. In other words, the bus-stand’s inability to handle more buses simultaneously will badly affect the traders’ business even though they have to give high rental charges,” he said.

He said the Chief Minister, as per the Government Order issued in July 2007, should give shops to the person who had taken on lease or his partner or his legal heir at the affordable rental charges with 12 months rent as deposit. Since the Tamil Nadu Government was following the practice of hiking 15% in the rent for every 3 years, it should be applied to the shops of renovated bus stand also for fixing the rental charges, he noted.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:03:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/bus-stand/article37750868.ece

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