Another round of applications for allotment of shops at Kallikudi market

The Central Market complex at Kallikudi in Tiruchi has 830 shops and has been established on 9.79 acres.   | Photo Credit: M_Moorthy

Close on the heels of revoking the allotment of shops to traders at the Central Market for Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers at Kallikudi on the outskirts of the city, the District Market Committee functioning under the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business has called for fresh applications from traders for allotment of 623 shops at the market.

Recently, the committee had revoked allotment of 288 shops to traders at the market as the allotees had failed to function and renew the agreements. Some had also defaulted on payment of rent. The shops were allotted to the traders in 2018 for a period of 11 months and the agreements have not been renewed after that.

The move also comes in the wake of the continued reluctance of the wholesale traders of the Gandhi Market who contend that it was located too far away from the city and the shops did not suit their requirements. The market, situated about 12 km away from the city off the Tiruchi-Madurai National Highway, was opened in September 2017 but has been lying in disuse ever since.

Earlier this year, the Department of Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business announced that 207 shops in the market would be allotted to farmers’ producers organisations and farmers groups. The Market Committee has already decided to allot about 104 shops to 52 farmer producers groups / farmers interest groups (formed under the collective farming scheme) and farmers’ producers companies as per a government order issued earlier this year.

According to sources, the GO allowing allotment of shops to farmers groups had also made it clear that the allotment of shops at the market need not be restricted only to traders of the Gandhi Market. “Fresh applications have now been called from traders and any trader can apply for allotment of the shops,” an official said.

The committee has now decided to allot shops only in pairs – shops on the ground floor and the one directly above them on the first floor together. So a trader who applies for a shop on the ground floor has to necessarily apply for the one directly above on the first floor too. No trader would be allotted shops only on the ground floor.

Shops of different sizes 100 square feet, 150 square feet and 200 square feet would be on offer with monthly rentals ranging from ₹1,800 to ₹4,410. Applications would be issued at the market committee office on Madurai Road in the city on all working days from June 24 to July 10. The last date for submission of filled-in applications will be July 24. According to sources, a committee of officials was likely to be formed to scrutinise the applications and finalise the allotments after adopting due procedure.

The market, established on 9.79 acres with 830 shops, was conceived when late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa represented the Srirangam Assembly constituency, in the wake of persistent demand for shifting the wholesale section of Gandhi Market in the city to a more spacious location. It was built at a cost of ₹77 crore with financial assistance from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

As the small size of the shops was cited as one of the shortcomings by the traders, the district administration modified the shops on the ground floor to make them bigger by removing walls in between. Subsequently, applications were called for allotment of shops and a committee was constituted to scrutinise over 1,600 applications received from Gandhi Market traders. After the process, 288 shops were allotted and the market was declared functional on July 1, 2018. However, hardly a handful of traders moved in and they too wound up operations after a few days.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 8:27:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/another-fresh-round-of-applications-for-allotment-of-shops-at-kallikudi-market/article31915688.ece

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