Coronavirus: Pathways at Koyambedu market cleared of clutter to promote social distancing

Updated - March 26, 2020 11:11 am IST

Published - March 26, 2020 11:08 am IST - Chennai

A pathway at Koyambedu market. Photo: D. Madhavan

A pathway at Koyambedu market. Photo: D. Madhavan

The COVID-19 situation has brought about many changes in the functioning of the Koyambedu market — changes in operational hours and even short closures for cleaning operations are only to be expected. Significantly, the crisis seems to have also led to the resolution of one long-pending issue — cluttered pathways.

On all the three sections, dedicated to the sale of three categories of perishable items: flowers, fruits and vegetables, at the Koyambedu Wholesale Market complex, pathways have been freed of clutter and made wider so that visitors, who are mostly small traders, can practise a form of social distancing.

Social distancing is one of the major preventive measures to check the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

This move was jointly orchestrated by officials of Greater Chennai Corporation and officials of the Koyambedu Market Management Committee (MMC), which comes under the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and manages the market complex.

A Corporation official said that earlier many designated shops used to park their commodities along the pathway in front of their shops, thereby extending their shops and obstructing the movement of visitors.

During weekends and holidays, “extensions” to shops, engineered through makeshift arrangements, would be a nuisance for visitors.

In the past few days, such extensions have been cleared to disinfect the entire market complex as part of preventive measures against COVID-19.

Further, Corporation officials said that only retail traders, who have their outlets in respective neighbourhoods, were allowed to make purchases in the wholesale market. Entry of people who may want to buy these items for their household is restricted to reduce the number of people gathered at the complex at any point of time.

On an average, the wholesale market gets more than one lakh visitors every day especially during weekends and holidays, the Corporation officials said.

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