Flower wholesalers have complained that the temporary market opened in Vanagaram on August 20 becomes easily crowded due to space constraints.
The merchants demanded that they be allowed to operate in small groups in different areas until they were allowed to return to Koyambedu. Since several retailers and laborers congregated at the temporary market, the nearby stretch of Poonamallee High Road has seen heavy traffic congestion, particularly in the morning, traders said.
The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority had allocated an alternative site for flower wholesalers scattered across the city after the closure of the Koyambedu wholesale market complex.
Four acres of land belonging to the Kailasanathar Temple in Vanagaram, under the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, has been allocated.
S. Rajapandian, a flower wholesaler from Thiruverkadu, said that although 224 shops were spread across the Vanagaram market, around 500 to 600 traders were operating daily from the vacant space. “Previously, we pursued trade as a group in different localities of the city. Now some of the members have insisted that business should be done from one place. It led to congestion,” he said.
Traders said the daily rent for each store has now been reduced from ₹500 to ₹300.
Physical distancing standards and other safety measures were not strictly enforced in the temporary market, they said.
A. Manoharan, a wholesale trader, said, “Unlike Thirumazhisai and Madhavaram, Vanagaram market opening hours are from 2 am to 4 pm. We plan to ask the authorities to allow us to operate in separate batches until Koyambedu reopens. ”