The vegetable market in Machkhowa . Picture by Eastern Projections
Aug. 6: Gauhati High Court has directed Dispur to suggest alternative sites to relocate the vegetable market on TRP Road in Machkhowa.
The court yesterday asked the government to furnish a report within five weeks.
An source in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) said the traders of the market had earlier accepted before the court that they were running their business from the road and had agreed to vacate it if they were relocated at a suitable place.
A division bench of Chief Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Justice Ashok Potsangbam yesterday directed the state government to file an affidavit within five weeks suggesting alternative sites to shift the vegetable market, the source said.
The source said the traders of the market had proposed two alternative sites for the market.
When the Central Jail shifts to Sarusajai next year, around 60 bighas of government land will be vacated in Fancy Bazar. The traders are ready to shift if 2 bighas of the land is given to them, the source said.
The second site suggested by the traders is on the bank of the Brahmaputra at Bharalumukh near Sonaram High School.
The shifting of the market has been entangled in litigation for several years. Multiple petitions have been filed at the high court with the residents demanding shifting of the market and the vendors opposing any such move without selecting a proper relocation site. For more than a decade, the market was being run from the road, causing inconvenience to the residents.
According to GMC records, 240 vegetable traders operate from the market. Because of the court case, the traders reached an agreement with the corporation that they would pay the GMC a fixed tax of Rs 60,000 per month.
The residents of Machkhowa have been demanding removal of the market from the arterial road. They say the market has not only vitiated the atmosphere but also made the area — teeming with hundreds of shopkeepers who come from the outskirts to do business — vulnerable to bomb blasts.
The residents also complains that because of the absence of a cleaning drive, garbage keeps piling and turns the area into a breeding ground for mosquitoes, flies and bacteria.