Tiruchirapalli

Civic body closes down Gandhi Market

A crowded Gandhi Market in Tiruchi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

Tiruchi Corporation has closed down Gandhi Market with immediate effect. Both retail and wholesale operations will be conducted on West Boulevard Road, the civic body announced on Saturday.

The move, aimed at checking spread of COVID-19, comes after a month-long deadlock over shifting of retail operations of the market to G. Corner on Tiruchi-Chennai Highway. The Corporation had made various arrangements at the ground for transaction of business at night.

As per the decision conveyed to representatives of various associations, traders can utilise West Boulevard Road from Kamaraj Arch to Vellamandi corner to conduct operations. While wholesale trading will take place at night, retailers will be allowed to operate between 6 a.m and 10 a.m. The arrangements will come into effect on Sunday night and they will be in force until further orders.

Sources told The Hindu that the solution to the deadlock was found when a group of leaders of Gandhi Market met Minister for Municipal Administration K. N. Nehru on Saturday. After listening to their grievances, Mr. Nehru reportedly explained the importance of shifting the operations due to unabated surge in COVID-19 cases in Tiruchi and other parts of the State.

He told them that all facilities would be created on West Boulevard Road and asked Corporation officials to take steps to ensure trouble-free trading on the stretch.

Corporation Commissioner S. Sivasubramanian told The Hindu that there was no option but to shift all operations of Gandhi Market with immediate effect. In spite of the warning, a large number of shoppers thronged the market on Saturday too. Hence, if the market was allowed to function, it would be difficult to enforce social distancing norms and the venue could become a hotspot for spread of the virus.

Since all shops and business establishments were closed on West Boulevard Road due to total lockdown, there would be no space crunch for sale of vegetables and fruits. Drinking water and toilet facilities would be established wherever required, he added.

Welcoming the new arrangements, CPI Tiruchi unit secretary V. Suresh said the new place allotted for trading was not too far from Gandhi Market. Since it was an open place, it might reduce the chances of spreading the virus.

The district administration and the Corporation should decentralise retail trading to prevent crowding at one place. At least six retail markets should be established for the time being. The same formula adopted during the first wave of COVID-19 could be adopted to decentralise retail trading, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 9:13:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/civic-body-closes-down-gandhi-market/article34566724.ece

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