Chennai

COVID-19: Lack of options led to May Day Park being turned into temporary market

The Chintadripet market now functions from May Day Park. Photo. R. Ragu  

Public parks and commerce are strange bedfellows; but the current exigency has forced them together. The recently-renovated May Day Park in Chintadripet has been turned into a temporary vegetables and fruits market.

While the process of closing the common market was under way, Corporation officials were looking for an alternative space in the locality to set up the temporary market. As there are no playgrounds, school campuses with sufficient open space, the decision to turn May Day park into a common market was taken.

“Unlike playgrounds and school campuses, parks have limited open spaces, due to the presence of greenery, children play area and titled pathway. However, many residents in the neighbourhood and adjoining areas cannot travel all the way to the Broadway bus terminus, which has been converted into a temporary vegetable market,” a Corporation official reasons.

Corporation officials have made it clear that traders at the temporary market set up at the park can only sell vegetables, greens and fruits, and not fish. It may be noted that the well-known fish market in Chintadripet has been closed due to overcrowding and the resultant difficulty in ensuring social distancing.

Prior to the relocation, the earmarked space at the park was disinfected. With a police station located near the park, adequate police personnel have been deployed to ensure residents maintain social distance.

“As this is a park, residents are instructed not to loiter inside, and asked to buy the essentials and move out as quickly as possible,” says a Corporation official.

In 2019, the park was restored with a range of facilities by the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL), which had taken over the spacious park nearly a decade ago to construct underground tunnels for the Metro Line. After the restoration, the park was handed over to the Corporation for regular maintenance.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:10:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/covid-19-lack-of-options-led-to-may-day-park-being-turned-into-temporary-market/article31257968.ece

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