The Koyambedu wholesale market will continue to operate during the total lockdown, as sales of vegetables have been permitted in mobile stores. About 30% of semi-wholesalers were also allowed to operate daily on a rotational basis.
On Monday, sales were relatively boring due to a drastic drop in the number of retailers visiting the market. Only about 3,000 tonnes of vegetables reached the market instead of the usual load of 5,000 tonnes, as traders expected demand to drop.
The Koyambedu Market Management Committee (MMC) has authorized a minimum of 400 semi-wholesalers to operate with wholesale stores. MMC officials said there were around 1,500 semi-wholesale stores in the market. About 30% of them would work until noon. Only commercial vehicles would be allowed to enter the market, and two-wheelers and cars were banned.
GDRajasekaran, president of the Federation of All Associations of Koyambedu Periyar Market, said about 1,100 vehicles loaded with vegetables had been sent out of the market to be sold in the town. “We expect that number to increase to 2,000 vehicles by Tuesday. Prices have also stabilized due to lower demand, ”he said.
For example, carrot, brinjals and broad beans, which were sold at inflated prices on Sundays, were available, costing less than ₹ 20 per kg in the wholesale market. The federation issued a warning to traders who were selling vegetables at an abnormal price, he added.
The traders’ associations also plan to share the costs of wholesale vegetables with the Greater Chennai Corporation to help with price control measures in the city. Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu also warned of harsh actions against traders who engage in price hikes during the pandemic.