A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha issued the direction on Friday while refusing to give any direction on a plea moved by Chennai Koyambedu Market Naangaam Number Gate Pallavyaparigal Munnetra Sangham, seeking to allow them into the Koyambedu market or else evolve a process under which all the traders were allowed on a rotation basis instead of restricting permission to just 200 traders.
Observing that there was a dearth of civic sense, discipline and orderliness, and that none had any sense of responsibility, the bench led by Justice Sathyanarayanan noted that the complex being crowded despite being a wholesale market was because of the ‘benevolent’ attitude of the Greater Chennai Corporation in allowing retail sales through platform shops that have cropped all over the place.
Recording the submission by the CMDA’s counsel that it has been decided to open the market only in a staggered manner as Koyambedu had become a cluster due to crowding and lack of social distancing, the bench held that the response was clear and no fault could be made out from it as allowing traders would result in a repeat of the cluster formation.
CMDA’s counsel also informed the court that renovation work was in progress at the complex, making use of this period when the activities in the market is low. It would take some time before the market is back to full-fledged operation, it added. vAppearing for the petitioner, M Purushothaman submitted that if the wholesale traders alone were permitted, there would exist no reason for overcrowding. The complex was crowded only because of unauthorised retail sellers, he added.