Flower vendors want Coimbatore Corporation to throw open the stage shops at the earliest.

Flower vendors want Coimbatore Corporation to throw open the stage shops at the earliest.
  | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

The Flower Market stretch on Mettupalayam Road is back to its original self- a congested stretch where flower vendors, customers, pedestrians, and road users jostle for space. The stretch returning to its original self has largely to do with those vendors who sell off the streets resuming business. The Coimbatore Corporation had more than a month ago asked the vendors to not sell off the streets on the stretch after it barricaded the western and eastern sides.

At the time of barricading the stretch and asking the vendors to move away from the place, the Corporation had said it was to contain the spread of COVID-19 as the area had a few positive cases and to facilitate the construction of new shops for flower vendors inside the market.

The Corporation had also seized flowers, makeshift tables and other items from the vendors to enforce the COVID-19 safety protocol.

The Corporation’s move ensured that the otherwise congested Flower Market stretch of the Road was free of traffic congestion.

But in the past few days, the stretch is back to its original self and in a much worse form because the vendors had returned even though the Corporation had not removed the barricades.

A few vendors have also started using the barricades as stand to hang garlands.

The eastern side of the stretch of Mettupalayam Road is equally bad as the Corporation, to facilitate the construction of shops, had dug road and diverted traffic.

The Corporation, after closing the old Flower Market on the west of the Road is constructing 97 stage shops at ₹ 75 lakh.

Sources in the Corporation said they had received complaints of vendors returning to sell off the streets and they would initiate action in a day or two. They also said that the work to draw power supply to the new shops was complete and the Corporation would be able to throw it open in the next few days.

The flower vendors say they want the Corporation to thrown open the stage shops at the earliest as they would have no where to go if they were asked to vacate the Devanga Higher Secondary School ground, where they had temporarily set shop during the lockdown.