CHENNAI: Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market was bustling with activity on Monday morning with honking horns and pushcart vendors being kept busy with loading and unloading of vehicles arriving at the market.
But the enthusiasm of traders, who were eagerly waiting for the opening of the market, drained down on the first day as most of the wholesale stock remained unsold due to traffic congestion at the market.
A Market Management Committee official told The New Indian Express that 569 trucks with commodities arrived in the market on the first day. Similarly, a total of 2,560 purchasing vehicles entered the Koyambedu market.
The chaos started on Sunday evening as vehicles started assembling to buy the stocks after the Wholesale Market opened. Despite the market surrounded by cops who were enforcing the traffic regulations to ease congestion, the vehicles piled up till Rohini theatre at one stage, said traders.
ARS Mani, an onion trader, told Express that due to congestion only 70 per cent trading could take place. “Many vehicles were turned away as gates were closed by 9 am as such most of the wholesale traders' stocks remained unsold,” said Mani.
The officials should regulate the arrivals and departures and impose fine on vehicles that don’t abide by the timing of one hour stipulated time to load and unload vegetables,” he said.
MRN Ravi, a wholesale trader who sells cucumber, capsicum, etc, said that the Market Management committee should allow vehicles from suburban areas by 10 pm rather than the prescribed timing of allowing them after midnight as this could ease congestion.
An MMC official said that a meeting was held with traders and cops to resolve the issue. A decision will be taken soon. “Since it was the first day after lockdown, there were niggling issues and these would be sorted out soon,” the official added.
Prices of coriander, spinach, and Karuveppilai crashed as they were brought in excess. The traders later hobbled and decided to bring in less than 100 loads so that the prices of this product could be reasonable. The prices have dropped by around 50 percent for spinach and coriander and many were lying wasted. “A sack of Coriander which we used to sell for Rs 200 to Rs 250 was being sold for Rs 100 to Rs 150 due to excess arrivals,” rued a trader.
Meanwhile, 10 to 12 vehicles were seized for violating the standard operating procedures, according to an MMC official. “The vehicles did not abide by the norms,” said the official.