With wholesale traders of Gandhi Market opposing any move to shift them to the Central Market for Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers at Kallikudi on the outskirts of the city, the meeting convened by the district administration here on Saturday failed to break the impasse.
The meeting was conducted in view of a section of traders seeking more time to function at Gandhi Market until they construct their own private market on about 20 acres of land on Tiruchi-Chennai highway.
Vellamandi N. Natarajan, Minister for Tourism, and S. Valarmathi, Minister for Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare, participated in the meeting.
Besides officials of various departments, representatives of various traders associations attended.
Mr. Natarajan told reporters after the meeting that more than a year had passed since a delegation of Gandhi Market traders met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and sought two-month time to shift to Kallikudi market. But they neither finalised the proposal to build a private market nor shifted to Kallikudi.
“We understand the difficulties of traders in shifting. At the same time, we need to use the Kallikudi market fully. We will take up sentiments of traders to the Chief Minister,” Mr. Natarajan said to a specific question on the newly constructed Kallikudi market being kept idle for more than two years.
Speaking at the meeting, he said that a section of traders had been doing trade by encroaching large tract of public space thereby causing traffic congestion.
Collector S. Sivarasu said that the Kallikudi market was constructed to reduce traffic congestion around the Gandhi Market.
Population and the number of vehicles had gone up by 14 times since 1980. So, traders should understand the difficulties of authorities in regulating traffic.
But, representatives of almost all traders were unanimous in their stand against shifting them to Kallikudi.
Ve. Govindarajulu, State secretary, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu, said the traders were willing to move out from the Gandhi market but they could not move to Kallikudi as it was far away from the city.
A few traders, who shifted their operation to Kallikudi for a while, had faced huge loss as there were no takers. So, it had been decided to build a private market at Kattur on about 20 acres of land with the participation of Gandhi Market traders.
The process was almost over. The government should give all needed clearances for the project.
U.S. Karuppaiah, a Gandhi market trader, said the Kallikudi market was ill conceived on many aspects. The impasse over shifting Gandhi Market could be solved if the government sets up a comprehensive market on about 47 acre of land at Ariyamangalam by fully clearing mounds of garbage.