New wholesale market in Thirumazhisai starts functioning

Vegetable prices, which are high now, may begin to stabilise in Chennai in a few days, according to wholesale traders

May 11, 2020 01:22 pm | Updated 01:22 pm IST - CHENNAI

The new wholesale market at Thirumazhisai was bustling with activity as sales started on Monday.

The new wholesale market at Thirumazhisai was bustling with activity as sales started on Monday.

After a gap of nearly a week, wholesale vegetable trade resumed in the city at the new market set up in Thirumazhisai on Monday. Vegetable prices, which are high now, may begin to stabilise in Chennai in a few days, according to wholesale traders. The Koyambedu market, the earlier site of wholesale trade, was shut following a large number of COVID-19 cases being reported from there.

The market, which was inaugurated on Sunday evening, started receiving produce from different places, including Andhra Pradesh and sales began from the early hours of Monday. The area was bustling with activity as retail traders from neighbouring districts and the city’s peripheral areas arrived from 2 a.m. to pick up fresh produce.

Officials of the Koyambedu Market Management Committee said about 300 vehicles from various places have brought vegetables to the market since Sunday evening. Of the nearly 3,200 tonnes of vegetables that were sourced from different areas, nearly 2,600 tonnes were sold out by Monday morning.

Retailers who arrived at the market were screened and vehicles were also disinfected before they were allowed in. About 3,000 vehicles came from neighbouring districts such as Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram, too, to purchase vegetables. According to wholesale vendors, the new market saw a crowd of about 50,000 visitors on Monday.

D. Rajasekaran, president, Federation of Koyambedu Wholesale Vegetable Merchants Association said as the prices were affordable, most of the stock was sold by 7 a.m. The cost of most vegetables had reduced by 50% in the wholesale market as there were plenty of fresh arrivals. For instance, tomatoes were sold for ₹10-15 a kg in the wholesale market. Similarly, a bunch of coriander leaves was priced at ₹10 and carrots and potatoes were sold for ₹25.

“We expect the vegetable prices to stabilise as the new market has started operating. It may take one or two days for the dip in prices to reflect in the retail market,” he said.

Members of the association noted that there is a need for facilities such as storage space for unsold stock and doors for the shops. More food stalls would help the labourers, they said.

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