Express News Service
CHENNAI: 25 years after being inaugurated in 1996, the Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex (KWMC) in the city is all set for a revamp. Considered to be one of Asia’s largest perishable commodities wholesale market, plans are afoot to use the latest technical knowhow to ensure effective solid waste management and proper regulation of market.
CMDA member secretary, Anshul Mishra, told TNIE a consultant is being hired to work out a comprehensive plan to modernise and revamp the market, which also includes setting up a separate block for organic products in the premises. It is learnt that for the sale of organic products in the market, CMDA has earmarked 50,000 square feet of land following the Budgetary announcement in this regard.
Mishra said the CMDA has broadly identified areas of improvement and insists there is a need to assess the applicability and implementability of these proposals. “Any planning of KWMC has to take into account the entire ecosystem of economic activities operating there, the movement of goods, vehicles and people, overcrowding and congestion, and available land resources,” said Mishra, who has been introducing numerous reforms to ensure effective operation of the planning body.
One of the major focusses this time is to decongest the market by introducing a Boom Barrier System which will control pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The market had emerged a Covid-19 hotspot in 2020. “On any given day, the market receives around 15,000 vehicles on an average, including trucks, vans, auto-rickshaws, tricycles, and two-wheelers. These need to be regulated as to how many are entering the market and which shops they are visiting,” Shanti, chief administrative officer of the Market Management Committee, said.
It is also learnt that CMDA is planning to recruit retired traffic personnel and regional transport officers to effectively regulate vehicle movement. Similarly, plans are on to identify additional vehicle parking slots.
Another major thrust under the scheme is management of solid waste. The focus is to generate wealth from vegetable and flower waste, and CMDA is taking help from NGOs and technical experts in this regard. “We have given a go-ahead for a pilot to convert waste into manure using a new nanogel technology,” said Mishra. “A Self Help Group has approached us to covert flower waste into incense sticks,” said Shanti, adding that trials are on. Similarly, a study on encroachments in and around the market is also going on.