In a statement, SA Ponnusamy, State secretary (Labours wing) pointed out that only 200 big traders have been permitted to open shops inside the market.
“Citing the pandemic, Market Management Committee had shifted the market to Thirumazhisai and allowed only 200 big traders. The committee failed to consider the livelihood of more than 2,000 small traders and one lakh employees,” he said.
Ponnusamy also raised suspicion of misconduct in allowing only selected 200 traders even after the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) reopened the Koyambedu Market. “The small traders are suffering due to the COVID-19 imposed lockdown and the government, headed by Edappadi K Palaniswami, has failed to consider them. The government should allow all traders to function in the market,” he urged.
CMDA had reopened the market on September 28 and announced several regulations, including the limited numbers of shops and restricted entry of retail traders for procuring vegetables from wholesale traders. The CMDA also banned retail business inside the market.
Retailer vendors are being allowed inside the market only up to 9 am and the gates will be closed after that. The CMDA had closed the Koyambedu market on May 4 after several COVID-19 cases were reported among the workers and traders at the market.