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Tiruchi Corporation has decided to develop the Gandhi Market under the Smart City Mission

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Fund under the Smart City Mission will be utilised for the project

In a significant move, the Tiruchi City Corporation has decided to develop the Gandhi Market under the Smart City Mission.

“We have taken a policy decision to make use of the available fund under the Smart City Mission to rebuild the Gandhi Market. There is a possibility of establishing a multi-floor market – cum – shopping complex on the existing 7 acres of land,” N. Ravichandran, Commissioner, Tiruchi Corporation, said.

He said a consultant has been appointed to study the proposal.

The consultant would come out with a feasibility report after taking into account of various issues and views of stakeholders.

He was expected to hand over the report within a month.

Based on the outcome, the Corporation would take further steps to build a modern market, the Commissioner added.

Stating that appointment of consultant was a preliminary step, Mr. Ravichandran said that if the outcome was positive, a Detailed Project Report would be prepared for the modernisation project.

To increase revenue

The idea was to make available the ground floor for retail traders and the next two or three floors for building a commercial complex.

It would not only increase the revenue of the Corporation, but also create livelihood opportunities for traders.

The vegetable market, which was named after Mahatma Gandhi, is functioning since 1940.

There were reports that traders sold vegetables at the same place for several years even before the market formally began its operation.

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The market, which has nearly 7,250 shops spread over about 7 acres, has separate wings for fruits, flowers, grocery and meat.

In addition to them, more than 300 non-permanent shops and a number of pavement shops are also functioning in and around the market.

For long, this market has been a revenue source for the Tiruchi City Corporation that owns and operates it.

Space crunch

The population of Tiruchi was less than a lakh when the market was set up.

It has gone up beyond 10 lakh including those living along the periphery of Tiruchi.

But, the market, which was designed to cater to the need of the then population and for subsequent 20 years, is facing enormous pressure due to space crunch.

Space crunch is being felt around the roads of the market as commuters face frequent traffic snarls.

Opposition by traders

Keeping all these aspects in mind, the State government constructed a Central Market for Vegetables, Fruits and Flours at Kallikudi, which is about 12 km away from Tiruchi on Tiruchi-Madurai highway, about 3 years ago.

But, due to stiff opposition of traders who refuse to shift from Gandhi Market, the new market in Kallikudi remains unused.

The move of the Tiruchi Corporation to rebuild the Gandhi Market is now being seen by many as a new twist in the market saga.

(source : The Hindu)

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