Chennai

Semi-wholesalers withdraw hunger strike in Koyambedu market

Chennai, 19/10/2020 : A few semi wholesalers went on indefinite hunger strike on Monday demanding to reopen shops in Koyambedu market.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

A section of vegetables and fruits semi-wholesalers staged a hunger strike on Monday seeking shops to be reopened in the Koyambedu market in Chennai.

However, the indefinite hunger strike announced by the semi-wholesale traders was withdrawn by afternoon after officials of the Koyambedu Market Management Committee and police held talks with them.

Semi-wholesalers, who protested in the market, noted that owners of licensed wholesale shops at Koyambedu were provided alternate space in Thirumazhisai, Madhavaram and Vanagaram after the market was closed in May.

However, nearly 2,300 semi-wholesale shops remain closed for several months now and merchants who were functioning in 150 sq.ft and 300 sq.ft. shops were out of business since May. These traders deal with smaller quantities and sell even in a few kilograms to retailers.

S.S.Muthukumar, a vegetable semi-wholesaler, said “We had earlier given petitions to various government authorities on the issue. We were not provided alternate sites to operate or given any compensation. The government had announced that semi-wholesale shops too will be opened in phases. We had to protest to attract the government’s attention.”

By Monday afternoon, the semi-wholesalers withdrew the protest as officials had assured them that the dates for reopening shops would be announced within a few days.

The Koyambedu market, which had earlier shut after it turned into a COVID-19 hotspot, was reopened in phases with the food grains section and wholesale vegetable market in September.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 8:09:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/semi-wholesalers-withdraw-hunger-strike-in-koyambedu-market/article32892013.ece

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