The public hearing conducted on Thursday by the Vellore district administration to facilitate the smart city project by demolishing half-century-old Nethaji Market, witnessed some heated arguments between the officials and the traders.
Nethaji Market All Traders Association leader K Gnanavel said, the proposed move to construct a multi-storey building would not be convenient for both the customers and the traders. He suggested, the fish market that was present earlier, adjacent to Netaji Market, should be accommodated in the ground floor of the proposed structure.
Making it clear that unless officials assured priority in the shop allotment in the new complex, traders would not vacate their present shops, he said that the government move would affect the livelihood of 752 permanent shops and 300 ground level shops.
Collector SA Raman and corporation commissioner C Sivasubramaniam pacified the agitated traders by promising them that their demand would be considered. They also said that the viewpoints would be passed on to higher officials.
However, Sivasubramaniam said that the local body had no powers to change norms or the laws and hence no assurance can be given. Shops would be allotted based on lots, he added.
Disappointed by this, traders started walking out of the meeting. But, Raman intervened and pacified them.