Fruit vendors on Medavakkam Main Road see mixed response

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Chennai: The onset of summer has begun to fade away smiles of peoples in the city.

However, for street vendors who sell summer delights like palm fruit (nungu), tender coconut, musk melon and so on at Medavakkam Main Road, the dry season is a boon.

Ramesh who sells musk melon and ice apples on his cart, says, “This summer has yielded me good returns. I have been selling these fruits for five years in and around the neighbourhood. I start my day at 9 am at Sadhasivam Nagar and continue selling around the neighbourhood. I skip main lanes such as Medavakkam Main Road and Pallikaranai Main Road since there were many vendors offering the same.”

On other hand, Saroja, who sells ice apples at Medavakkam Main Road, business has not been great. “This doesn’t happen every year. I have been selling nungu for 12 years and during summer they sell like hot cakes. But this year, I am facing a hard time as sales haven’t gotten off to a great start. I have no way other than to give away fruits at low cost and incur loss.”

In a bid to know the state of affairs, News Today took a ride around the markets in the neighbourhood which sells fruits, vegetables and dry fishes. Expressing concern, vendors said, “There are multiple problems in the market. Not only is there a loss of interest to have fruits, the fact that the widening works at Medavakkam Main Road throws a whole load of dust in nearby areas, including the market, puts off customers. Even shops which are properly sheltered have poor sales due to the platforms all but being absent due to recent works carried out by the government.”

Shop keepers also add new shops that were put up after the road was widened has hampered their business as residents are spoilt for choice.

Balamurugan Selvaraj