Simmakkal vendors reluctant to move to ‘smart market’

  • By Hindu
  • | Saturday | 13th January, 2018

The proposal to shift the Simmakkal fruit market to Mattuthavani’s central ‘smart market’ has been hanging fire for long. Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar says, “Since this is a ‘smart market,’ we had to do soil testing and thorough inspection. Those who attempt to reach Vilakuthooon through the fruit market say that they have resigned to navigating through narrow stretches. A Madurai Corporation official said that the proposal to shift the fruit market to Mattuthavani was approved by the Corporation Council in 2013. Despite these said benefits, the vendors,who are regularly told to vacate from Simmakkal, say that there are several problems.


The proposal to shift the Simmakkal fruit market to Mattuthavani’s central ‘smart market’ has been hanging fire for long. Construction and infrastructural delays are preventing vendors from making the big move. The delay causes inconvenience to pedestrians and motorists who regularly use the roads around Simmakkal and Yanaikkal.

A Madurai Corporation official said that the proposal to shift the fruit market to Mattuthavani was approved by the Corporation Council in 2013. Though work began in early 2016, the progress has been slow.

The construction of 240 shops is over but much of the infrastructure is yet to be incorporated. Construction was stalled as the Corporation did not have enough funds in its coffers.

Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar says, “Since this is a ‘smart market,’ we had to do soil testing and thorough inspection. This market will have end-to-end bitumen roads with world class design, utility ducts, parking and unloading facility nearby and e-toilets. There will be air conditioners in some shops.” The construction cost amounts to ?15 crore and the infrastructure cost is expected to be around ?12 crore.

Despite these said benefits, the vendors,who are regularly told to vacate from Simmakkal, say that there are several problems. “There are 350 shopkeepers here but only 240 shops are built in Mattuthavani. How are we expected to move? The progress is very slow. Corporation officials are not present when we draw lots for shops. Unless these problems are solved, we cannot move,” says K. Alagesh, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam Peravai.

Those who attempt to reach Vilakuthooon through the fruit market say that they have resigned to navigating through narrow stretches. The city’s iconic night market is just as crowded during the day and creates several problems for motorists and pedestrians alike.

S. Indira, a resident of Nelpettai, says that walking through Vakkil New Street, North Veli and North Masi streets has been a problem for several years now. “The growing number of vehicles is adding to the problem,” she says.

A senior official from the engineering department of the Corporation says that the market will be fit for use only after six months.

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