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Connemara market facelift: Traders’ rehabilitation likely in two months

Nov 30, 2023Nov 30, 2023

Construction of first 2 temporary prefabricated buildings to relocate them nearing completion

Published: 07th June 2023 07:13 AM | Last Updated: 07th June 2023 07:20 AM | A+A A-

The prefabricated buidling at TRIDA land behind the Connemara market at Palayam in Thiruvananthapuram nearing completion | B P Deepu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The rehabilitation of 389 traders of the century-old Connemara market at Palayam as part of its revamping under the Smart City Mission project will likely occur within two months. The construction of the first two temporary prefabricated buildings to relocate them is nearing completion.

According to the officials of Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (SCTL), the first building will be ready by July, and the second building will be ready by August. There is one more building, which could be ready by later this year. The three temporary rehabilitation blocks to relocate the vendors are under construction on TRIDA-owned land near the market.

The prefabricated buildings will have cubicles for each vendor, and there will be a special vending zone for the fish market. The structures are mostly made of high-quality steel and can be easily dismantled if the need arises in the future.

A top official of SCTL told TNIE that the construction of the prefabricated building is in full swing and that these two buildings would be ready to accommodate the relocated traders within two months.

"Once the first two buildings are ready, the vendors can be relocated to the buildings. At present, we are relocating 389 traders from the market. Once they are relocated, we will demolish the existing structure of the shops in the main market and start the construction of a three-storey concrete building, including a basement vehicle parking area. The new building can accommodate 460 traders with dedicated vending zones for fish and meat markets. However, the main gate of the market will be retained as such, as it is a symbol of the heritage of the erstwhile Travancore," the official said.

He also added that the prefabricated structures would be retained even after the main concrete buildings are ready so that more vendors can be accommodated in the market in the future. Though the initial work on the rehabilitation of traders started way back in 2020, the work was halted midway due to the pandemic.

The revamping of the Palayam market has been pending for more than a decade now. Later, the work began in 2021. But a section of the traders opposed it, as they feared it would affect their livelihood. However, the issues were settled, and the traders were convinced after the intervention of Palayam ward councillor Palayam Rajan. He said that the dispute with the traders was settled, and they were ready to move to the new facilities.

"I had a meeting with traders twice. They are pleased and satisfied with the new arrangement. However, one more meeting will be called with the traders so that they can get designated spaces in the new facilities based on their trade. There are traders who come to the market daily, and they don't have any designated space. So we need to organise such issues in the meeting. However, the renovation work will begin soon after the traders are relocated," Rajan said.

The total cost of the project is Rs 113 crore. SCTL had spent around `94 lakh on biomining, which involves the process of using strong inoculums to extract non-biodegradable waste from heaps of accumulated waste to clear the site where the rehabilitation blocks are coming up.

The rehabilitation project is expected to cost around Rs 12.68 crore. The expected completion of the project is one and a half years. The whole project is expected to give a fresh lease of life to the iconic market. As part of the project, a hi-tech fish and meat market would be constructed on the ground floor, and the traders would be given designated stalls in the market. The first and second floors of the market would be used for commercial purposes.


Hitech fish and meat marketDeep refrigerator for safe storage of fishDedicated stalls with a mobile charging dock and water tap for each vendorEffluent treatment facilityArea to park around 250 cars in the buildingProtection of the heritage wall in front of the marketRehabilitation of 460 tradersPermanent prefabricated structure to rehabilitate traders temporarily