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Farmers, vegetable traders of Coimbatore market complaints of high toll, poor facilities in market

Chennai, Oct 6 (BPNS)

Farmers and vegetable traders of Coimbatore MGR market have complained that they are paying high tolls for entry into the market but are provided poor facilities. They alleged that the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) has violated norms in awarding the maintenance contract at the Mettupalayam MGR market.

The CCMC has, according to traders and farmers awarded a contract of Rs 1.20 crore maintenance contract in 2019 for a group. The contract was awarded for three years but as the market was shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic, the contractor quit the operation.

The traders alleged that then the contract was given to a trader inside the market for just Rs 80 lakh and the local AIADMK functionaries put pressure on the officials to prevent any other bids for the market maintenance contract. The AIADMK was in power during that time.

Murugadas, a trader in the Mettupalayam market while speaking to IANS said, “ The farmers who bring vegetables to the market will have to pay money for loading and unloading of vegetables. It was Rs 1.50 per sack but now they have raised it to Rs 5 per sack and it would cost heavily on the farmers.”

P. Kandasamy, state general secretary, Vivasaigal Sangam while speaking to BPNS said, “ The fee charged for loading and unloading is hefty and is creating a huge burden to the farmers who are already down and out after the pandemic. We will have to resort to protests if the CCMC does not settle the matter with immediate effect.”

Coimbatore Municipal Corporation officials said that they have received the complaint and will take the matter up with the commissioner and resolve the issue.