COIMBATORE: Flower Market (Poo Market) is one of the busiest places in the city. But walking on or towards the Flower Market on the Mettupalayam road is a nightmare for anyone any day.
A visual of the vicinity is always this — buzzing with crowds, vehicles parked haphazardly on roadsides, flower shops encroaching footpaths, pedestrians using the road to commute. Because of this, pedestrians are forced to walk on the roads which pose a major risk. The situation has remained the same for several decades.
Kishore Kumar, an autorickshaw driver, complained about shops occupying a portion of footpaths. "Shopkeepers are unruly when it comes to adhering to the rules. As they utilise the footpath to place products, pedestrians find no room for walking and are forced to use the roads amidst heavy traffic."
Asha Devi, a pedestrian, claimed the condition of improper walking track looms for at least more than half a kilometre on Flower Market road.
For C M Jayaraman, president of Citizens' Voice, Coimbatore (CVC), lack of parking lot is a major issue."We are often served fine challans by traffic police for parking near shops. But, the vicinity lacks a parking facility. All customers face this situation every single day. The city corporation must construct a multi-level parking facility. For time being, the vehicles must be allowed to be parked at the old flower market."
The traders in the flower market echoed the same.
Kovai Maanagar Mavatta Anaithu Malar Viyabarigal Nala Sangam president R Ravichandran said, "Our traders are making do with the space available near the new market complex. By creating a space for the parking facility in the old market, the issue of haphazard parking could be solved easily," he pointed out.
Speaking to TNIE, Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) Commissioner Raja Gopal Sunkara said the officials removed a few encroachments at Flower Market on Monday.
When asked if the corporation is keeping a tab on the issue, a senior official in West Zone said they always have a vigil on encroachers. "We are planning to impose a fine on the violators to prevent them from encroaching the footpath again. On Monday, we removed a few structures and poles installed by shopkeepers along the footpath," he added.