After a prolonged legal battle and more than a year after floating the tender, the Tiruchi City Corporation has finally brought the old fish market at Puthur under its control, and razed down all shops so as to construct a commercial complex.
The Puthur market was originally established to accommodate vegetable traders. However, a portion of the market was allocated to wholesale and retail fish traders after the closure of a private market at Bheema Nagar about 25 years ago.
Though the market became an instant hit thanks to its prime location, the unhygienic surroundings and emanating stench had led to protests from the residents. Acknowledging the plight of the residents, the Corporation constructed a new market for fish traders at Kasivilangi on the outskirts of the city and decided to build a commercial complex at the Puthur market. The civic body floated the tender in August last year and completed the process three months later.
Though the civic body managed to shift the vegetable traders to a Woraiyur market in June, it could not vacate the fish traders as a section of traders filed cases in the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking allocation of shops to them in the new market. The civic body successfully fought the cases recently. Still, the officials had to hold a number of meetings to convince the traders as some of them who were not sure of getting new shops at the new market, were not in a mood to budge.
At one point of time, the officials warned that if they failed to vacate their shops by Friday, no truck carrying fish from landing centres would be permitted from Saturday. Only after this warning, the traders relented and moved to the new market.
A senior official told The Hindu that all hurdles for constructing a commercial complex at the old market at Puthur had been removed. Though the preliminary work had begun in August, actual civil work would begin in a few days.
The new complex would have a built up area of about 10,250 sq.mt . It would have ground plus three floors. A sum of ₹ 20.20 crore had been allotted for the project. Construction of a parking lot in the basement with a capacity to accommodate 50 cars and 125 two-wheelers is also part of the project.