The impasse between merchants at the Udhagamandalam Municipal Market and the Udhagamandalam Municipality continued for the fourth day as the market remained closed due to non-payment of rent by the merchants.
The municipality had sealed most of the 1,587 shops in and around the market complex as the merchants had failed to pay the revised rent announced four years ago.
The market had been closed for four days as a result, with the municipal officials stating that the premises would be opened only after the outstanding due amounting to ₹ 38 crore was paid.
Officials said that due to the non-payment of the revised rent, the municipality owed almost ₹ 17 crore in outstanding due to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation while payments to municipality staff were also delayed.
Office-bearers of the Udhagamandalam Municipal Market Merchants Association said the municipality had agreed to form a committee to consider their demands. “We have demanded that they reduce the rent for the stalls, and we expect a solution to be reached soon, and hope that the market will reopen by Tuesday,” said one of the merchants.
R. Saraswati, Udhagamandalam Municipal Commissioner, could not be reached for comment.
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