Gandhi Market reconstruction begins on Monday


After smashing the legal hurdles for reconstructing the 60-year-old cramped and nauseating Mahatma Gandhi Market in Palayamkottai on an outlay of ₹ 14.90 crore, the Corporation is all set to commence the civil work for this market on September 20.

Mahatma Gandhi Market, which is in filthy condition even without stormwater drain, is to be reconstructed under the Smart City project. Once the reconstruction is completed with basement and ground floor, it will fetch the Corporation the net revenue of ₹ 2.08 crore per year.

The market, situated on well-connected 1.22 acres in the heart of Palayamkottai, has 266 shops with the units with size varying between 3 square meter and 10 square meter. The consignments received by the shops of Mahatma Gandhi Market can be transported into the market area only manually due to low corridor width. There is no parking facility for the commuters and ‘vehicle circulation space’ for the traders too. As the market’s floor is lower than the level of the roads, ankle-deep water would stagnate inside the market even after a drizzle to cause problems to the traders and the buyers as well.

“Since the well-connected market building is 60-year-old, it is in dilapidated condition and hence waiting for long for an overall makeover. As this market is in a prime locality, its commercial value is quite high. So, we’ve decided to utilize its potential to the maximum possible extent by rebuilding the market again with excellent facilities to generate sizable income for Tirunelveli Corporation,” says B. Vishnu Chandran, Commissioner, Tirunelveli Corporation.

As per the proposal, the new structure will have basement and ground floor with the total built up area of 3,877 square meter in the basement and 3,553 square meter in the ground floor. While the basement can accommodate 27 four-wheelers and 819 two-wheelers, the ground floor with the commercial area of 1,835 square meter will have 172 shops, which will collectively generate whopping income of 1.18 crore per year for the Corporation.

A cold storage facility with the capacity of 50 tonnes will be created to store unsold perishable items of the traders in the market and hence it will ensure the revenue of ₹ 10.80 lakh. A pay-and-use toilet complex will also be a part of the project to augment the revenue by another ₹ 19.35 lakh.

“While car parking will generate the annual income of ₹ 5.73 lakh, the two-wheeler parking lot will ensure another ₹ 77.82 lakh per year. In all, the reconstructed Gandhi Market will fetch the revenue of ₹ 2.08 crore per year for the Corporation after the gross expenditure of ₹ 48.23 lakh towards housekeeping,” says Mr. Vishnu Chandran.

Since the traders now having their shops in the market are to be shifted to the adjacent Jawahar Grounds, those who are using this ground, where public meetings or protests were organised by the political parties, for parking their autorickshaws, vans, cargo vehicles etc. opposed it even though they were allotted the nearby Erumaikkidaa Ground behind Palayamkottai All Women Police Station.

In the meanwhile, a group of Hindu outfits entered the scene opposing the move saying that the dussehra celebrations to be held in Jawahar Ground and Erumaikkida Ground for a couple of days every year would get spoilt if the temporary shops were put up there. They also approached the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court against the move to erect the temporary shops at Jawahar Grounds and parking the vehicles at Erumaikkida Ground.

Since the petitions have been dismissed by the court, saying that the traders should be given the temporary shops on an early note, Mr. Vishnu Chandran, along with Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tirunelveli City, (Law and Order), T.P. Suresh Kumar, had a meeting on Saturday with the owners of cars, vans, autorickshaws and cargo vehicles being parked at Jawahar Ground now.

“The vehicles parked at Jawahar Grounds should be shifted to Erumaikkida Ground to facilitate the setting-up of temporary shops for the Gandhi Market traders since civil work on construction of Gandhi Market is to commence on September 20. Since it has been declared by the Regional Transport Officer as ‘no parking zone’, due action will be taken against the violators,” Mr. Vishnu Chandran said.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 3:59:03 AM |

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