Poor condition of Thirumazhisai market leads to a dip in business

About 1,000 tonnes of Friday’s vegetables unsold, say traders

July 11, 2020 12:17 am | Updated 12:17 am IST - CHENNAI

Gum up the works:  Vegetable-laden vehicles got stuck in the slush in the Thirumazhisai market on Friday.

Gum up the works: Vegetable-laden vehicles got stuck in the slush in the Thirumazhisai market on Friday.

Business was hit at the Thirumazhisai wholesale vegetable market on Friday as overnight rain in the city’s outskirts left the market area slushy and shops inundated.

Many produce-laden trucks were stuck in the slush and traders were busy getting them out till late afternoon. Retailers and labourers waded through ankle-deep water to go about their business.

Wholesale merchants said about 100 vehicles got caught in the slush and such incidents repeated after every spell of rain. This deterred several retailers from making their daily purchase in the market. Though temporary arrangements such as using gravel to prevent water logging was done in the past, it had not helped much. Flooding also led to an unhygienic environment in the market, they said.

D. Rajasekaran, president, Federation of All Traders Associations’ of KWMC Periyar Market, said about 1,000 tonnes of the nearly 4,500-5,000 tonnes of vegetables that arrived on Friday remained unsold. At least 20% of retailers kept away from the market because of rain and difficulty in reaching the shops.

Wholesale prices of vegetables dropped by ₹10 a kg. For instance, carrots, ladies finger and tomatoes were sold for ₹20 a kg. While some stock could be retained, a considerable amount of vegetables would be wasted as there was no way to store them, he said.

“Officials of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and Tiruvallur district administration inspected the area. They have promised to take steps. We have asked them to shift the market back to Koyambedu as it will be difficult to operate from Thirumazhisai during the rainy season. The government must allow us to function in batches on alternate days with restrictions,” Mr. Rajasekaran said.

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