CHENNAI: The Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market bustled with activity on Monday morning as vehicles and push carts thronged the premises on the first day of restarting of wholesale operations after a gap of over four months.The enthusiasm of traders, however, was short lived as most of the wholesale stock remained unsold thanks to traffic congestion in and around the market.
A Market Management Committee (MMC) official told Express that 569 trucks with commodities arrived on the first day. Similarly, a total of 2,560 purchasing vehicles too entered the market.The chaos started on Sunday evening itself as vehicles started piling up to buy the stocks ahead of the market reopening. Despite the market was surrounded by the police who tried to regulate the traffic, vehicles piled up till Rohini Theatre at one stage, said traders.
ARS Mani, an onion trader, said that due to congestion only 70 per cent trade occurred. “Many vehicles were turned away as gates were closed by 9 am even as most of the wholesale stock remained unsold,” said Mani. “The officials should regulate the arrivals and departures and impose fine on vehicles that don’t abide by the one-hour stipulated time to load and unload vegetables,” he said.
MRN Ravi, a wholesale trader who sells cucumber, capsicum etc., said the MMC should allow vehicles from suburban areas by 10pm rather than allowing them after midnight. “This would ease the congestion,” he said.
A MMC official told Express that a meeting was held with the traders and police to resolve the issue. A decision will be taken soon. “Since it was the first day, there were several issues and these would be sorted out soon,” the official added.
Prices of coriander, spinach and curry leaves crashed as they were brought to the market in excess. The traders later decided to bring in fewer than 100 loads so that the prices could remain viable. The prices have dropped by around 50 per cent for spinach and coriander and many loads were lying wasted. “A sack of coriander which we used to sell at `200 to `250 was being sold for `100 to `150 due to excess arrivals,” rued a trader.Meanwhile, around 10 vehicles were seized for violating the standard operating procedures, according to a MMC official.
Wholesale market to fully resume ops soon, says official
In what could be a major relief for traders, the Koyambedu wholesale fruits, vegetable and flower market would be able to resume full operations before the Dussehra festival, said a MMC official