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Fruit, flower traders to suspend biz till May 3

Alleging that the temporary market that was set up at Madhavaram bus terminus had no facility or safety, the fruits and flower traders from Koyambedu have decided to keep their shops shut till the end of the lockdown instead of moving there.

Fruit, flower traders to suspend biz till May 3
Disinfecting Madhavaram bus terminus for shifting a section of traders from Koyambedu market


So far, six vendors in the market complex were tested positive for COVID-19, with the other traders expressing fear that more could be infected. On April 25, a day before the four-day complete lockdown, there were more than one lakh visitors, said traders.

As per the plan, more than 3,000 flower vendors should shift from Koyambedu to Madhavaram. “But there won’t be any security for our belongings like weighing machines. So, instead of opposing the government’s order, we have decided to close the shops till May 3. We are already facing loss since the lockdown was implemented. But we don’t have a choice other than shutting down,” said S Mookandi, secretary of Koyambedu Flower Merchants’ Association.

Fruit traders, too, said they would rather face loss than risk being infected. “If we don’t open the shops, there will be huge losses. But our life is more important than the business. Till the lockdown ends, we’ve decided to close the shops. All vendors should be tested because there might be more COVID cases in the market,” said S Dhanasekar, secretary, Vegetable, Fruits and Flower Merchants’ Association.

Though retailers are allotted space to sell vegetables at Madhavaram bus terminus and Kelambakkam, they are not willing to move. “The sale of vegetables has been poor during the lockdown, and we are dependent on public transport. If we go that far, it would be difficult for us to travel. Instead, we can suspend the business till the lockdown period ends,” said a vendor at Koyambedu wholesale market.

P Sukumaran, secretary, Koyambedu Wholesale Merchants’ Association said the government has permitted wholesale shops for a week and then decide whether the shops should be shifted or not. “Only 250 shops will be functioning and it should be maintained with limited workers. The public is not allowed to buy, only traders are permitted inside the market,” he said.

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