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Cleaner space, cheaper prices and smooth shopping

K. Lakshmi

Regular clearing of vegetable waste attributed to involvement of traders association

— Photo: K.Pichumani

STEPPING IN: Workers clearing the garbage collected at the vegetable section of the Koyambedu wholesale market on Wednesday.

CHENNAI: Visitors to the wholesale market at Koyambedu, of late, are happy to stroll around the market and purchase vegetables for two reasons: cheaper rates of vegetables and cleaner space on the market premises.

The quicker and regular clearing of vegetable waste and garbage has been attributed to the involvement of the wholesale traders association in the initiative.

Francis Ponraj, a retail trader at K.K. Nagar, said workers could be seen clearing garbage from 7 a.m. in the vegetable market. “Most parts of the market get cleaned by the time people start visiting the market,” he said.

D. Radhika, a regular visitor, said: “I stopped visiting the market for a while, dreading walk on the vegetable waste strewn all over the place and the foul stench. Now, the market looks much cleaner.”

Members of the Koyambedu MMC Licensed Merchants Association said they were involved in garbage disposal along with a Bangalore-based company at the vegetable market. The contract to clean the vegetable market was sanctioned by the Market Management Committee on a trial basis to the joint venture in October 2007.

Members recalled that the piled-up garbage in vegetable section would be left to rot for several days owing to a poor maintenance until a few months ago.

Secretary of Koyambedu MMC Licensed Merchants’ Association S.Chandran said: “We decided to step in to the garbage clearance issue three months ago as the traders were the worst-affected besides the visitors.”

The association joined hands with the private contractor to clear about 100 tonnes of garbage comprising vegetable waste collected daily. Of this, a minimum of 10 tonnes of vegetable waste is provided to bio-methanation plant that generates power from waste. About 50 workers were involved in cleaning operation in morning and evening hours.

Association president V.R. Soundararajan said while the private contractors took care of workers’ appointment and maintenance, the association supervised the operation and also provided clothes and accessories. “We also lend our vehicles sometimes to enable quicker clearance,” he said.

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