COVID-19 lockdown: Koyambedu veggie traders roll back demand to close market for two days
The government intervened and asked the traders to keep the market open to prevent a rise in the prices of vegetables.
CHENNAI: Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market traders have agreed to roll back their demand that the market be closed for two days beginning Friday.
Traders were in a dilemma as vegetable stocks continue to arrive but there are no takers as the regular supply to hotels, hostels, canteens and retail vegetable markets has been hit owing to the COVID-19 lockdown.
S Chandran, Market Management Committee Licensed Merchants Association President and Anaithu Sangankalin Kootamaipu general secretary, told The New Indian Express that initially they had announced a two-day closure of the market from Friday.
However, the government intervened and asked the traders to keep the market open to prevent a rise in the prices of vegetables.
What's more, the government has ensured that retail markets in T Nagar, Ambattur, Avadi, Mylapore, Tambaram and other places in the city will remain open thus doing away with the fear of non-availability of vegetables in Chennai during the 21-day lockdown.
A top Market Management Committee official told Express that the traders had put forth their demands to open the supply chain and the government will open the retail markets as they claim more than a tonne of vegetable is getting wasted.
Meanwhile, Chandran has said the labourers working in the market will be provided free food by the traders. "We have ensured that the labourers who are key in loading and unloading the vegetables will be provided with food," he said.
To a query on whether the retail market in the wholesale market will function, he said they have sought permission from the government to keep it open. He said that masks and sanitisers will be provided to the workers by traders.
He also said the government should ensure that traders as well as workers who are key in ensuring the supply of vegetables across the city don't get coronavirus by screening and testing them.