Not retailers, they are wholesalers: CMDA

CMDA is now banking on a hearing slated for February 4 in the HC and is hopeful of a final binding order.

CHENNAI: Wholesale flower sellers evicted from Badrian Street at George Town here on Monday, were occupying the pavement ‘illegally’ under the guise of retailers despite being allotted shops in Koyambedu market, according to CMDA officials.

The CMDA was executing a 2012 Madras high court order which directed the removal of 130 wholesalers from Badrian street. “We have managed to remove only 47 because the flower sellers opposed (eviction). They have also filed several petitions in lower courts now,” said a CMDA official.

After the state government enacted the Tamil Nadu Specified Commodities Markets (Rules of Location) Act, 1996, fruit, vegetable and flower wholesalers were moved to the custom-built Koyambedu market complex.

However, a few flower wholesalers continued to conduct ‘double business’ on these pavements, the sources said.

In 2004 and 2009, Badrian Street wholesalers petitioned the high court seeking protection from eviction under the umbrella of Chennai Retail Flower Merchants’ Welfare Association, which the Chennai Koyambedu Flower Wholesalers’ Association (CKFWA) along with CMDA opposed.

“A field enquiry was conducted by CMDA and we identified 130 of them conducting wholesale business. They claim they are retailers but they start their business at 4 am and sell loose flower petals and shut shop before noon,” an official said.

A CKFWA member, on condition of anonymity, told DC that Badrian street wholesalers were eating into their revenue.

“All these wholesalers have shops allotted at Koyambedu. But they left since these allotments were in the first floor or in a corner place where they felt there would be no business”.

“Since Broadway has more connectivity, flower farmers are content selling it to them and also because they get a higher rate. Buyers also find it easy to purchase from Broadway,” the member added.

CMDA is now banking on a hearing slated for February 4 in the HC and is hopeful of a final binding order.

Flower sellers reluctant to go to Koyambedu market
CHENNAI: Owners of the 19-year-old flower market that houses 151 shops in the narrow lanes of Badrian Street told DC that moving to Koyambedu market complex would eventually lead to closure of their business.

“When we have our own private spaces here where we pay between Rs 3,000 and Rs 7,000 as monthly rent, why should we end up giving Rs 30, 000 and more as rent and an advance that will be anywhere near Rs 4 lakh to the owners over there,” asked T. Murugesan, a flower trader owning a shop on Badrian Street for the past 10 years.

Over hundreds of elderly women who came to sell flowers from Kasimedu and Pallavaram were left empty-handed after they found that the shops were locked.

“At this age it is not possible for me to travel to Koyambedu flower market as it will not just prove a physical burden, but will force me to shell out more money,” said 79-year-old Naga Chellamma.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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