CHENNAI: In a bid to bring down the soaring prices of tomato, the Madras High Court on Monday ordered the Koyambedu Market Management Committee (KMMC) to allot one acre of empty space for stationing and unloading it into the market complex as a 'temporary arrangement to tide over' the current circumstances.
Justice R Suresh Kumar issued the orders on a petition filed by Thanthai Periyar Tomato Traders Welfare Association which sought that the closed yard measuring 84 cents be restored for loading and unloading of tomato as want of space led to poor arrival, thereby contributing to the current price rise.
After perusing the status report filed by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the KMMC which informed their inability to allow the sought space because it may trigger congestion and chaos, the judge asked whether some other space can be allotted.
Taking instant instructions from the concerned authorities, the KMMC intimated the court that one acre of space near F block parallel to ‘A’ road in the market can be earmarked for tomato trucks for the time being.
Accepting the suggestion, the judge ordered, “Out of three acres of space available parallel to A road, at least one acre shall specifically be earmarked for tomato traders. All licensed tomato traders can be allowed for parking and unloading as an interim measure.”
However, Justice Suresh Kumar stressed that retail trade is not allowed on the space allotted for unloading the commodity and if this is violated, the access will be denied.
“A trader can be denied space if found to be selling tomato on the truck at the parking space,” he said, directing the KMMC to post some persons to specifically monitor stationing and unloading of the commodity, the shortage of which has led to the prices skyrocketing to Rs 120 per kg at the wholesale market last week.
Making it clear that not only members of the petitioner's association but also all licensed traders of tomato will be allowed to use the space from Tuesday (November 30), he pointed out it is just a temporary arrangement to tide over the current circumstances for four weeks and a status report should be filed in two weeks.