The wholesale vegetable market, shifted from Koyambedu following outbreak of Covid there, started functioning from Thirumazhisai on the outskirts of Chennai on Monday.
The Tamil Nadu Government said only wholesale traders would be allowed in the new market which was made ready in a record quick time following the closure of Koyambedu after it emerged a new epicenter for covid with the virus spreading to far-flung districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram, Ariyalur and other areas of Tamil Nadu . The new cases of over 1,000 are traced to Koyambedu.
The Koyambedu traders, for whom it was a question of livelihood, cooperated with the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and the Chennai Corporation by agreeing to shift the fruits and flowers shops to Madhavaram and vegetable markets to Thirumazhisai.
The shops in the new market complex are spaced out to ensure social distancing.
Though Koyambedu is an equally sprawling complex, it was an all in one market complex with wholesale and retail sale of vegetables, fruits and flowers. As a result, it was always bustling with activity.
It proved lethal in these Covid times with one merchant getting the infection from a truck driver from Maharashtra and spreading it far and wide leading to the closure of a market opened in the late 1990s by late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha.
The Government says it is only a temporary measure till Covid pandemic comes under control. But it is unlikely to return to normal any time soon.When merchants were coaxed to move from Kothwal Chavadi in George Town to Koyambedu, they were given the same assurance. They stayed put in Koyambedu from then on till now.