Justice R Suresh Kumar issued the direction while hearing a plea by AK Swaminathan, president, Thanthai Periyar Tomato Traders’ Welfare Association functioning in the Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market.
“The soaring tomato price is only because of the issue in supply chain. If the CMDA permits us to use the open ground in front of the N-124 godown, trucks from Udaipur, Jaipur and other cities could be parked for loading and unloading tomatoes. It would bring down the tomato price to Rs 40 per kg,” Swaminathan’s counsel D Siva submitted.
The petitioner said the shops run by the small vendors at the market complex measured merely between 150 and 600 square feet. “Due to space crunch, we use the open ground near the N-124 godown for loading and unloading,” he added. The vendors were using the space till the market was closed due to the lockdown in March 2020. “When the market was opened last September, the CMDA authorities denied us permission to use the empty ground before N-124 godown,” the petitioner added.
The CMDA submitted that the ground was closed for parking the trucks, as many people were selling vegetables there.
Recording the submissions, the judge cited the soaring price of tomato and observed that the CMDA could reconsider its decision. The court then directed the authority to file its response on Monday to explain whether allotting parking space for tomato vendors would bring come down prices.