Gandhi Market traders continue to resist transfer move

Efforst under way to find a solution to the issue, says Collector

The district administration is in a fix over its plan to shift traders of Gandhi Market to G.Corner on Tiruchi-Chennai Highway near Golden Rock.

Aimed at de-congesting Gandhi Market, the State government had directed the district administration to move retail trading to a separate location a few weeks ago. Going by the directive, Collector S. Divyadharshini asked Tiruchi Corporation to take steps to shift the retail operations to G. Corner, where wholesale traders of Gandhi Market functioned for eight months during the first wave of of COVID-19.

Officials made arrangements at G. Corner to enable traders to start retail trading. But the move was met with stiff opposition from a section of traders, who claimed that it was a discriminative approach. They said they would move to G. Corner site if all traders, including wholesalers, were asked to shift. Though the local body tried to convince them, they refused to budge, leaving officials with the only option of talking tough.

Since COIVD-19 infections continued to soar in the district, the authorities again made efforts a few days ago to shift both wholesale and retail trading from Gandhi Market. A senior official of Tiruchi Corporation, who met functionaries of trader associations, told them to move from Monday. It again failed to evoke a positive response from the traders.

When the issue was taken to the notice of the Collector, she said efforts had been made to find a solution to the issue. It would be solved in a day or two.

According to official sources, the district administration had begun fresh efforts to shift wholesale trading to G. Corner and retail trading to four or six different places in the city. Since the traders continued to resist the move, officials had reportedly referred the issue to Minister for Municipal Administration K.N. Nehru for an amicable solution.

A senior official told The Hindu that the COVID-19 situation had turned grim. As per the latest trend, nearly one out of five persons, who were subjected to testing, were found positive in Tiruchi. It would become more dangerous if hundreds of people and traders were allowed to throng a particular place for trading. It was time to revert to last year’s scheme of wholesale trading at G. Corner and retail trading at different places in the district.

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