The Madras High Court has asked for a status report from Tamil Nadu government and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for reopening the Koyambedu fruit market. The High Court also directed CMDA to submit pictures of COVID-19 norms maintained by the vendors in the markets.
The Chennai Koyambedu Market Naangaam Number Gate Pallavyaparigal Munnetra Sangham moved the Madras High Court seeking a direction from the court to reopen the fruit shops that were closed due to spread of coronavirus infection.
The case came up for hearing before the bench of judges, justice Sathyanarayanan and justice Hemalatha. The petitioner submitted that the temporary market in Madhavaram lacked adequate facilities and only 200 of the total 700 vendors were able to run shops leaving the other vendors in distress.
The petitioner also said that since Ayudha pooja was around the corner, the government should give permission to reopen the fruit stalls.
The High Court recorded the statement by CMDA informing that the market will be reopened in a staggered manner. The CMDA also informed that the renovation works were undertaken in the market and hence the market cannot be reopened now.
Following this, the bench raised a question if CMDA has allowed for retail sales instead of wholesale sales and told the CMDA to file a report with photos and videos from the market on the COVID-19 norms maintained by vendors and the public.
The court also warned the CMDA member secretary of consequences if they failed to ensure coronavirus norms. The bench also directed the CMDA, TN Town Planning Secretary and the market associations to submit a report by December 14.
The Koyambedu market was closed after the complex became a hotspot for coronavirus cases in the state. The Koyambedu fruit and flower shops were closed in April and the vegetable stalls were closed in May. After continued requests, the vegetable shops were reopened on September 28 but the fruit market remains shut.