Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 18
After operating for around four months at the ISBT, Sector 17, vegetable vendors and arhtiyas are not liking it to be back in Sector 26 here.
They say the ISBT-17 was far better and spacious than the Sector 26 mandi. The four-month stint away from the Sector 26 vegetable market has fuelled their desire to shift to the proposed vegetable market in Sector 39, which is hanging fire for years now.
A majority of the vendors are not happy with ‘ghar wapsi’ at the Sector 26 market.
Arhtiyas complain of space constraints and unloading charges, while licensed vendors complain of slow business. Unregistered vendors are not even allowed to enter the mandi. The market is also out of bounds for the common man, who is forced to shell out Rs5 to Rs10 extra per kg/per vegetable in sector markets.
“We request the UT Administration to shift us soon. Ultimately, it has to shift the market to Sector 39, so why not now? If the Administration is willing to do it, it is just one month’s work,” said Rattan Kumar Jain, president of the Arihant Vegetable Aarti Association.
In the last four months, MC officials said roughly 800 vendors with ‘green pass’ entered the Sector 17 bus stand everyday and sold vegetables in sector markets. The number of registered arhtiyas in the market is 168.
Marketeers say the number of vendors without MC licence could be equal to the number of licensed vendors or even more.
Ashok Gujjar, president of the Small Vegetable Vendors Association, said: “The Administration is not allowing retail business. Some of the vendors are doing it clandestinely, but the police take them away.”
Kasturi Lal Sharma, owner of an SCO in the market, said: “These people are either on road unemployed or brave police batons every day. The market is closed for retail business. Where will the common man go?”
Jarnail Singh, secretary of the Market Committee, said: “No unregistered vendor is being allowed to enter the market. The market is closed for retail business.”
In June, the UT Adviser had called up the licensees and sought suggestions and the list of requirements for the proposed market. Since then, they had not heard from the Administration.
The approximate area of the existing vegetable market in Sector 26 is around 20 acres. The proposed market in Sector 39 is spread in 73 acres.
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