Semi-wholesale and retail traders stage protest in Koyambedu

Against closure of retail shops, the traders want 50% of the shops be allowed to function on a rotation basis.

Semi-wholesale and retail traders staged a protest in front of the Koyambedu Market Management Committee office on Friday opposing the move to shut retail shops in Koyambedu market.

According to traders, it would severely affect their livelihood and also farmers who were dependent on the market. About 1,800 shops allotted below 300 sq.ft. of space were classified as semi-wholesale and retail shops. Similarly, there were 650 fruits semi-wholesale shops in the market.

S.Chandran, president, Koyambedu Market Licensed Merchants Association said semi-wholesalers were the last segment to reopen shops after relaxations in the lockdown during November and December last year. They are yet to stabilise their trade and this would be a blow to many of them. Wholesalers associations would also hold meetings to address the issues.

Semi-wholesalers demanded that 50% of the shops be allowed to function on a rotation basis. S.S.Muthukumar, president, Koyambedu Market Semi-wholesalers Welfare Association, said the decision was taken without consulting the traders this time too.

“Closing down of shops will also lead to an increase in prices of vegetables and fruits. We had suggested shops to be allowed to function on alternate days. We had also suggested dedicated spaces be provided in Adyar, Broadway, Koyambedu and Madhavaram for semi-wholesalers to operate in different parts of the city during the pandemic,” he said.

Traders would continue to protest till a solution is provided to the issue that would have a severe impact on their livelihood, he added.

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