Melur daily market in dire need of revamp

Crying for attention: The pathetic condition of Melur daily market in in Madurai district.

Crying for attention: The pathetic condition of Melur daily market in in Madurai district.   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK


With the structure remaining dilapidated, vendors are forced to use pavement and common path

The 30-year-old daily market in Melur is an important place of trade for farmers of the area, who bring their agricultural produce in the hope of getting fair prices for them. However, the daily market that houses close to 106 shops cries for attention. With the structure remaining dilapidated, vendors are forced to use the pavement and common path to carry out their business.

A woman vendor, who has a temporary structure put up outside her stall on the pavement, says, “For the past 18 years, I have been selling agricultural produce in this market. With the main structure in a bad shape, I have no choice but to put the stall on the pavement. I have put up tarpaulin sheets to protect both the agricultural produce and me from the sunlight,” she says.

“We also have to battle cattle menace here. With no proper compound, the cattle come into the market and we have to shoo them away”, said S. Ilangovan, another vendor.

Also, there was no proper drainage facility at the market, he said. “The problem aggravates during the monsoon. The whole area becomes slushy and it is difficult for the sellers and the buyers to visit the market,” he says. Drinking water facility and maintenance of the toilet facilities had to be ensured, he said, adding that even allotment of shops at the market was not proper.

Provision of proper loading and unloading facility at the market was among the other other major issues pointed out by the vendors. They say that the place was very narrow and could not be used to the maximum. They also demanded a proper storage facility at the market.

Advocate B. Stalin who filed a public interest litigation petition before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court said that the important market had been in a bad shape for quite a while. Though several complaints had been submitted to the authorities concerned, they were not inspecting the market regularly.

In a counter affidavit filed before the High Court Bench by the Commissioner of Melur Municipality, it was submitted that due to the bad condition of the market, the vendors were asked not to use the building. They were permitted to use the open space outside the market premises.

The counter affidavit said construction of a modern structure of new shops had been proposed. An earlier proposal sent to State Planning Commission in 2016 at an estimate of ₹3 crore was returned on the ground that the project had to be executed by getting loan from the government under various schemes available.

Now another proposal, worth ₹5.50 crore, had been sent to the State government, the counter affidavit said.

Agreeing that the structure was dilapidated, Melur Municipal Engineer and Commissioner (in-charge) M. Rathinavel said that a proposal on an outlay of ₹5.50 crore had been sent to the State government for the revamp of the daily market.

“The existing structure will be completely demolished to make way for a new structure. It will have new facilities, including loading and unloading facility, storage containers, adequate parking area, compound wall, drinking water and toilet facilities,” Mr. Rathinavel said.

He said that the vendors would be accommodated at other vacant places near the existing market till the development works were completed.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:21:58 AM |

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