HYDERABAD: The proposal to shift the Gaddiannaram fruit market at Kothapet to Koheda on the outskirts of Hyderabad may face hurdles with most of the commission agents, fruit vendors and those working at the market expressing apprehensions over the prospects of business at the new location.
There are about 250 licensed commission agents at the Gaddiannaram fruit market and about 5,000 people such as clerks, accountants, labourers (hamalis), among others, are dependent on the market for their livelihood. Most of them fear losing business or express apprehension over future if the market is shifted from Kothapet to Koheda which is about 20 km away from the city.
“Koheda is about 20 km away from here. Commission agents or retail fruit vendors have to shell out extra money on transporting fruits. Keeping in view the high prices of diesel and petrol, this will be an unbearable burden on small vendors who are already struggling to meet both ends. Till now, no one from the marketing department has consulted or informed us about shifting. If they officially inform us or a GO is issued, we will oppose the shifting of the fruit market and even challenge the move in a court of law,” said Md Tajuddin, president of Wholesale Fruit Commission Agents and Traders Association, Gaddiannaram Fruit Market.
The marketing department wants to shift the market to a newer location near Koheda and wants to turn it into a bigger and better market spread over about 100 acres. The existing market at Gaddiannaram is spread over 22 acres.
Though some fruit traders at the market see shifting of market as a solution to easing the traffic problem on the busy Dilsukhnagar-LB Nagar Road and feel that the new location and premises will provide them more space, they are also apprehensive that the very nature of fruit business in Hyderabad may change.
“The fruit market has grown much bigger since it’s shifting from Jambagh to Gaddiannaram in 1987. We hope that it will grow much bigger on the newer premises. But there is also a possibility that the business may suffer and the very nature of Hyderabad fruit trade may undergo a change. Right now, retail fruit sellers from all parts of Hyderabad come here and buy fruits. If the market is shifted to a far- off place on the outskirts, then retail traders, petty vendors may not go that far,” opines Syed Afsar, a wholesale trader at Gaddiannaram, who has been in the fruit trade for more than three decades.
Wholesale fruit merchants fear that small fruit markets may spring up locally at various locations in Hyderabad if the present wholesale market is shifted to the outskirts because small retail fruit vendors will not find it viable to travel all the away to the wholesale market to buy fruits.
Already, locations like Moazzam Jahi Market, Barkas, Gudimalkapur and Erragadda have become arenas of local fruit markets. Petty vendors buy their requirement from these local markets instead of going to the wholesale market at Gaddiannaram. Shifting of the wholesale fruit market to a farther place will only accentuate this trend and lose more retail vendors, thus affecting the business at the wholesale market, fear traders at the Gaddiannaram market.
Government Bent On Shifting
A senior official of the marketing department said efforts were being made to procure land at Koheda for the wholesale market and it would be shifted to the new premises irrespective of whether fruit traders agreed or disagreed with the move. Though the shifting exercise is pursued vigorously and the new market will be much bigger and have better facilities, clarity may dawn on the exact location, size and other features after the complete land is acquired.