Friday, Oct 24, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
This was decided at a high-level meeting held here the other day. According to the local MLA, K. Mohan Kumar, the decision would put an end to the uncertainty regarding the opening of the market for the past two years.
The meeting has also decided to include the local MLA and civic representatives in the managing committee of the market.
As many as 38 traders have taken up shops. The security deposit for the traders hiring the stalls and the rent have been halved, Mr. Mohan Kumar said.
The offer of the managing committee to reduce the rent and security deposit had yielded a positive response from traders.
The completion of the railway overbridge at Chacka, which will open up the Kovalam- Kazhakuttom Bypass to traffic from Tamil Nadu, would be as an added advantage to the traders.
The Chacka railway overbridge is scheduled to be completed by December. It would open up a direct route for the farmers in Tamil Nadu and the border areas who sell most of their produce in the city. The proximity of the international airport will be a major advantage for exporters.
The sprawling facility by the side of the National Highway bypass was remaining a non-starter ever since its inauguration in 2000 due to the poor response from traders and a dispute with headload workers' unions.
The Government had drawn flak for its alleged failure to put to use the idle investment on such a major project.
Set up to promote exports and provide a boost to the economy of the State, the market had been designed to provide facilities for farmers to market their products without the help of middlemen.
The complex located on a 10- hectare plot can handle up to 1,000 tonnes of perishable goods like banana, vegetables and potatoes and 1,500 tonnes of foodgrain and pulses, besides spices and copra.
Though the market is primarily intended for wholesalers, the committee is considering a proposal to set up a retail outlet outside the complex where consumers can purchase vegetables and fruits at reduced rates.
Useable rejects from export consignments will also be sold through these outlets.
Earlier, the dispute with the trade unions was settled after the Government invoked the provisions of the Kerala Loading and Unloading (Regulation of Wages and Restriction of Unlawful Practices) Act and issued an order permitting the traders to employ their labour.
A large number of the wholesale traders in the Chala and Manacaud markets may also shift their business to Anayara, helping to ease the traffic congestion in the city.
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