Retail traders of Gandhi Market to be shifted

Gandhi Market in Tiruchi looks deserted.  

With the State government banning retail sale in major wholesale markets in the State from Saturday in the wake of the second wave of COVID 19, retail traders of Gandhi Market in the city will be shifted temporarily to the G.Corner railway ground near Golden Rock from Sunday.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting convened by District Collector S.Divyadarshini with traders representatives of the Gandhi Market on Friday evening.

Confirming the move, Ms.Divyadarshini said that the retail traders would be allowed to function at the Gandhi Market, adhering to COVID 19 safety protocol, for a day on Saturday, until arrangements are in place at the G.Corner grounds. In principle approval has been obtained from the Railways for using its ground at G.Corner for the purpose.

Last year, almost the entire the market had functioned temporarily out of the G.Corner grounds for some months after the market was closed in the wake of the imposition of the lockdown in March end. The traders were initially asked to operate from the service lanes of the Tiruchi-Chennai Bypass Road for sometime before being shifted to the G.Corner grounds.

Earlier, in the day traders representatives had two rounds of talks with senior officials of the Tiruchi Corporation when they pleaded against the ban on retail trade at the market. While the Assistant Commissioner of Ariyamangalam zone held a meeting with the traders in the morning, a delegation of the traders met the Corporation Commissioner S.Sivasubramanian later in the day to press their demand.

The traders sought time and suggested regulating the trading hours the Corporation officials told the traders that they had no option but to enforce the government order and any representation in this regard has to be made only to the government.

The retail traders were told that they will be allowed to set shop temporarily at the Uzhavar Sandhai grounds at Thennur and along the Race Course Road near the Anna Stadium in the city.

However the traders representatives expressed stiff opposition to the move. “No one will come to purchase vegetable to far away Anna Stadium,” said M.K. Kamalakannan, president, Gandhi Market Vyabarigal Munnetra Sangam. Following the stalemate, the Collector chaired a meeting later in the evening.

Traders contended that they were just recovering from the heavy economic losses as the Gandhi market remained closed for more than six months last year following imposition of lockdown in the wake of the pandemic and an interim directive of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court against reopening it.

The court, which had issued the interim directive on a public interest litigation, subsequently lifted it paving the reopening of the market in November. It has asked all stakeholders to file their response so that a final decision can be taken in this regard. The next hearing in the case is expected next week.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 1:53:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/retail-traders-of-gandhi-market-to-be-shifted/article34287317.ece

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