Tamil Nadu

Move afoot to find alternative to Paravai vegetable market: Minister

Steps are being taken to find an alternative space for the Paravai wholesale vegetable market in Madurai district, said Revenue Minister R.B. Udayakumar here on Thursday.

In this connection he visited two open spaces near Madurai airport and another location near the site earmarked for upcoming AIIMS on Madurai-Thirumangalam four-way lane, accompanied by District Collector T.G. Vinay and Corporation Commissioner S.Visagan. After many merchants and buyers either tested positive for COVID-19 or showed symptoms of the virus, the district administration closed the market a fortnight ago.

The merchants associations in Paravai had appealed to the Collector to take steps to reopen the market and promised to adhere to physical distancing norms and also cooperate with the health team in screening the visitors. However, having had a bitter experience with the Koyambedu market in Chennai, the officials, especially, from the health department, appeared to be in no hurry to reopen the market.

Speaking to reporters, he said the government believed in opening the market and allowing people to step out. However, at the same time, certain guidelines had been prescribed by the experts for exit from the lockdown. “We are examining the modalities. The administration is considering them step-by-step,” Mr. Udayakumar clarified.

Within a day or two, the new market, an alternative to Paravai market, would be announced, he responded.

When asked about the opposition parties’ comments, the Minister said the party leaders, particularly the DMK president M.K.Stalin, were keen to threaten the people by taking the COVID-19 pandemic into their hands. “From the way the leaders have been talking, it looks like they don’t want the COVID-19 to die or go away from the people....” he lambasted.

To a pointed query, he said that neither the government nor the health officials were hiding the facts on COVID-19. In fact, the media should look at the pandemic as a serious issue and not sensationalise it. The recovery rate was fast now in Madurai and steps were being taken to screen more people.

With lockdown being eased in Madurai, he appealed to the people to maintain physical distancing, wear masks and use sanitisers. There was no need to panic or rush to buy essential commodities, he said.

Helps woman, daughter

At the Madurai Collectorate, a woman, Thilaga, wife of Mohanraj, from Kumarapalayam, Namakkal district, represented to the Minister that she lost her husband four years ago and sought assistance. She said that with two girl children she found it difficult to make ends meet. Now she had to treat her 16-year-old daughter diagnosed with blood cancer. As the doctors at Namakkal GH referred her to Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, she came here on June 22. Even as her daughter was undergoing treatment, she tested positive for COVID-19 on July 9 and died two days ago. After the burial, she was unable to return home as she had no money. The Minister immediately made arrangements to send them back home by a car and also provided them with essential commodities.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 12:00:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/move-afoot-to-find-alternative-to-paravai-vegetable-market-minister/article32101462.ece

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