Tiruvannamalai will soon get its first combined wholesale and retail market for vegetables, fruits, and flowers as work on the ₹29.25-crore facility began on Sunday. The new market complex will be ready by 2024.
Accompanied by Collector B. Murugesh, Minister for Highways and PWD, E.V. Velu laid the foundation stone. At present, the town does not have a separate wholesale market for vegetables and fruits. Consumers have to depend on roadside shops, pushcarts, and hawkers to buy the essentials. Even big consumers like hotels and marriage event makers have to unload large quantities of vegetables and fruits from lorries at temporary spots in the town before the perishables are stored at their places.
“The new market will be similar to Koyambedu market in Chennai in terms of the variety of vegetables and fruits that will be sold. Basic amenities will also be provided at the market,” R. Murugesan, Commissioner, Tiruvannamalai municipality, told The Hindu.
Funded under the Kalaignar Urban Development Scheme 2022-23, the new market complex will be built by the municipality on a 2.67-acre site on the Bypass Road, which is away from Arunachaleswara temple, in Gandhi Nagar in the town. Currently, the Jothi market, which has a wholesale flower market alone, is located on Theradi Street near the Rajagopuram of the temple. The flower market has been functioning since the early 1980s at the centre of the town, resulting in traffic chaos, especially during festival season and weekends due to the continuous flow of tourists. As a result, the new combined market will be located away from the temple.
The single-storey market will have vegetable and fruit shops on the ground floor and a flower market on its first floor, with 128 shops on each floor. Each shop, on average, will be 110 sq. ft. and will be leased for a fixed period. Ramps will be built to allow goods-laden lorries to unload commodities on the first floor of the market. As the town is in an arid region, a rainwater harvesting system will be built in the market to tap excess rainwater. Water taps, CCTV cameras, police booths, high-mast lamps, and toilets are other features. Adequate parking facilities will be provided for traders and consumers.
On the occasion, K. Karthikeyan, SP (Tiruvannamalai), M.P. Giri, and P.S.T. Saravanan, MLAs for Chengam and Kalasapakkam constituencies, respectively, and Nirmala Velmaaran, chairman, Tiruvannamalai municipality, participated.