CHENNAI: With Pongal approaching, traders at Asia’s largest perishable goods wholesale market in Koyambedu are a worried lot. After the rains, their profits were hit during Deepavali, and they now wonder if Pongal will be as sweet as it ought to.
While the Marketing Management Committee (MMC) is planning to auction space for sale of sugarcane, all doesn’t seem to go well as one of the key arterial roads is yet to be handed over to MMC by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). An MMC official said that CMRL has not even installed street lights on the stretch.
“The road is in a bad shape... The stretch needs to be repaired,” said an MMC official. Talks are still on and sources say that possibly by the end of this week, the road may be handed over to MMC.
“We have to make the road motorable. As such, a lot of patchwork has to be done,” said a MMC official. Some patchwork is already being carried out on some stretches.
During Pongal, there is a heavy rush of people flocking to the market as a majority of them cook with vegetables, unlike Diwali where people consume non-vegetarian dishes. “There will be around 2,000 trucks arriving at the market each day, apart from thousands of smaller vehicles. The Metro Rail officials should have handed over the road by December 30,” said the MMC official.
When queried about the issue, a Metro Rail official said the issue will be soon sorted out. But the traders say the root of the problem is the use of the road by State transport corporation buses. “There is an urgent need to think of another place for the buses,” said a trader.
As usual, this year also the Marketing Management Committee is planning to auction space for sale of sugarcane. “We are expecting nearly 1,000 trucks of sugarcane this season,” an MMC source said.
Meanwhile, new toilets will be coming up in flower and fruit markets. “They are being built at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore and will be ready by the last week of January,” said the official.