Sale of firewood may go up in Madurai: traders

FOR FUEL: Logs being chopped at Mattuthavani in Madurai. Photo: K. Ganesan.

FOR FUEL: Logs being chopped at Mattuthavani in Madurai. Photo: K. Ganesan.  

R. Sairam

Business has been dull as no auspicious function was held during `Aadi'

MADURAI: The Tamil month of `Aadi', considered inauspicious to begin any venture, has left its impact on the firewood trade too. A person going along Melur Road can see stocks of `veli karuvelam' logs piled up at the Firewood Market at Mattuthavani here.

"Since no auspicious function, such as marriage, is conducted during Aadi, sales have come down and stocks have piled up temporarily," said K.N. Shahul Hameed, president, Madurai Firewood Commission Market. However, he is confident that sale of firewood will pick up now that Aadi has ended.

On an average, 40 lorry loads of the thorny tree Prosopis juliflora are sold a day by 70 shops belonging to this association. In this lean period, sales have come down to almost 15 lorry loads a day, according to Mr. Hameed.

These shops buy firewood from small farmers, who chop down the quick-growing thorny trees dotting the arid stretches of Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai and Virudhunagar districts. Looking for a good price, traders come here from all over Tamil Nadu. Mr. Hameed said, "We mediate between buyers and sellers here. Further, we buy firewood even when there is not enough demand. We store them for sale when the demand increases. We do not turn away anyone as he would have travelled a long distance to sell the wood here."

Buyers and sellers should arrange for the transport of firewood themselves as only the commerce takes place at Mattuthavani.

Buyers wishing to resize the logs have to arrange for the cutting.

The logs are stacked five to 10 feet high in three acres of vacant land beside the market, helping dry the wood quickly.

This helps the seller as dry wood costs 20 per cent more than the wet ones.

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