Enforcement of COVID-19 norms among traders and consumers becomes difficult
As the enforcement of social distancing protocol among the traders and consumers become difficult for the law enforcers due to the arrival of hundreds of traders from several districts at the temporary vegetable market on West Boulevard Road, the call for shifting the operations of Gandhi market to G. Corner on Tiruchi-Chennai Highway has received support from a section of traders.
As a precautionary measure to control the spread of COVID-19 virus, the Tiruchi district administration shifted the retail operations of the Gandhi Market to G. Corner in April, where the market functioned for eight months in the wake of the spread of the virus in 2020.
But, most of the traders refused to move to G. Corner citing lack of basic facilities for the traders this year. The traders thereafter were allowed to carry on business at the Gandhi Market itself. However, since the fresh cases surged to an unprecedented level, the district administration intervened again in the issue and shifted all activities of the Gandhi Market to West Boulevard Road about 10 days ago.
Though the move received support among the traders initially, they now feel the heat due to the heavy crowd of a large number of retail and grocery merchants and hawkers from parts of the district and neighbouring districts.
It is said that almost all vegetable and fruit markets in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Mayiladuthurai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Karur and Karaikal districts had been closed in accordance with the State government order. Since the wholesale market on West Boulevard Road was the only option for the traders of delta and other districts to buy vegetables, at least 5,000 to 6,000 traders visit the Tiruchi market daily with mini load carriers, thereby causing congestion and chaos. The social distancing protocol had been thrown into the wind by most of the traders and consumers.
It has caused a rethink among a section of traders to favour for G.Corner, an open place with good connectivity and sufficient space for parking vehicles. The enormous surge in the number of fresh cases and deaths due to COVID-19 complications are also said to have engineered a thought in favour of moving to G.Corner.
“It is high time traders took all precautions to avoid getting infected. Given the current situation, we feel G.Corner is the best option to ensure social distancing at least to an extent until the situation is brought under control,” says M.K. Kamalakannan, a trader.
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