The renewal of bus services from Vellore’s old bus stand resulted in a war of words between vegetable traders and fruit vendors on Tuesday over taking up of space in old fish market, which has been earlier allotted to fruit sellers.
When the word spread that vegetable sellers were going to occupy the fish market, fruit sellers, who till then were selling their products on nearby Long Bazaar immediately occupied the old fish market by setting up temporary stalls to claim the place as theirs.
Officials said that following the fish market moving to the Makhan area some years ago in a decongestion move, the space was told to be used by fruit sellers who encroached heavily on Long Bazaar. “But as the Bazaar area provided more business and as the fish market lacked patronage, it was never used by fruit vendors,” officials said.
Vellore all Traders Association president RP Gnanavelu when asked said, “Vegetable vendors moved to the fish market on the orders of the Corporation. We do not know why the fruit sellers are objecting when they never occupied that area and also never paid rent to the Corporation for use of that premises.”
Vegetable traders were moved to the old bus stand by Collector A Shanmuga Sundaram, as the cramped Nethaji Vegetable Market was not suited to follow the COVID-19 related social distancing norms. As the lockdown is still in effect and as plans are afoot to reconstruct the market, vegetable vendors are now in a bind.
“Vegetable traders are willing to set up their stalls on Long Bazaar as there is enough space for social distancing,” Gnanavelu said. Corporation Commissioner Sankar when asked said, “On Wednesday, vegetable vendors will operate from the fish market. What happened was only an argument and not a face off.”