Netaji Market in Vellore will resume operations tomorrow

Decision follows protest by traders, who shut their shops

The British-era Netaji Market will be back in business from Wednesday. The district administration has decided to allow wholesale traders to return to the market after they threatened to shut their shops permanently from the temporary accommodation owing to lack of basic amenities and poor sales.

They were allowed to function from there since May to prevent overcrowding.

The traders shut their shops on Monday as a token protest before the District Collector, P. Kumaravel Pandian, called them for a meeting to discuss the issue.

“We are allowed to operate from the Old (Netaji) Market by following COVID-19 norms. We have convened a meeting on Tuesday among traders to insist on taking adequate safety measures in the market. We hope our business will be back on track,” said 68-year-old S.S.T.A. Balu, president, Vellore Town Netaji Market Vegetable Traders’ Association.

At present, the playground-turned-vegetable wholesale market near mango mandi has only 86 shops with more than 40 wholesale traders having discontinued their work since last year mainly due to lack of business. Further, the temporary market, which operates between 1 a.m and 9 a.m., becomes slushy and water-logged during rain, making it difficult for goods-laden lorries and retail traders to navigate the market.

Most vegetables such as onions, potatoes, cabbage, beans and greens come from Bengaluru, Mysore, Udhagamandalam, Hosur and Agra. Every day, on an average, the Vellore market gets 70 trucks of vegetables and are re-distributed to key towns like Arani, Ambur, Katpadi, Arcot, Ranipet and Arakkonam.

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