CHENNAI: The combined market for vegetables, fruits and flowers located in Koyambedu, one of Asia’s biggest, could be shifted to Thirumazhisai on the outskirts of Chennai as part of a new plan to decongest Koyambedu, sources said.
The market established in 1996 on 79 acres of land with 3,941 shops could make way for a multi-storey shopping mall with retail outlets for vegetable and fruits, says a feasibility report which is being prepared. The study is in initial stages and no decision has been taken, official sources said.
The feasibility study is being carried out to redevelop the entire market with a cluster for standalone retail branded stores, food street, office spaces and multi-storey retail outlets. Interestingly, the Koyambedu Wholesale Market was shifted to Thirumazhisai during the Covid pandemic in 2020. But due to demand from traders, it was allowed to function again.
The previous AIADMK government had planned to build three new markets at three different places with modern amenities to decongest Koyambedu. The fate of the proposal is not known. The market complex was developed as part of the first master plan to decongest the central business district in Chennai over an area of 296 acres to house perishable goods, foodgrain, textiles and other allied activities.
The perishable goods market is spread over an area of 51.09 acres housing shops for flowers and vegetables. Nearly 50,000 traders and buyers visit the market per day which results in traffic congestion and overcrowding in Koyambedu.
S Chandran, market management committee licensed merchants association president and Anaithu Sangankalin Kootamaipu general secretary, said that any plan to shift the market will be opposed by traders. The traders are running their businesses on patta land and it would be difficult for the government to pay compensation. “We will move the court. It is not an easy task,” Chandran said.
Mall to replace market
The market, established in 1996 on 79 acres with 3,941 shops, could make way for a multi-storey shopping mall with retail outlets for vegetables and fruits