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Cash restrictions for LS poll hits century-old cattle market in Vellore

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A century-old weekly cattle market in Vellore has been affected due to restrictions on carrying huge amount of cash during travel as part of the enforcement of moral code of conduct by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for Lok Sabha election on April 19.

As per norms for the elections, cash up to ₹50,000 has been allowed for people to carry during their travel.

“Most of the dairy farmers, who come to the weekly market, were not aware of the cash restrictions during election. Also, sellers, who are also poor farmers, always depend on cash transactions rather than online payment. A permanent solution should be found to ensure dairy farmers are not affected,” said K. Sethu, a dairy farmer at the market.

The election flying squad seized ₹5.89 lakh from S. Vijayan (33), a dairy farmer from Salem, at the toll gate in Pallikonda near Vellore on Tuesday. Initial inquiry revealed that he was on his way to the cattle market in Vellore in his maxi-cab to buy milch cows.

The market, held every Tuesday, has spread over a vast open space near a lake in Poigai village near Vellore town on Chennai – Bengaluru Highway (NH 44) for many years. Dairy farmers from various places like Tirupattur, Dharmapuri, Chengam, Anaicut, Gudiyatham and Krishnagiri throng the market. Around 2,500 cattles are brought to the market for sale.


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Majority of them are milch cows. The price of a milch cow is between ₹75,000 and ₹1.5 lakh in the market. “After Pollachi, Vellore’s Poigai is the second largest weekly market for cattle in the State. We have a veterinary clinic near the market where dairy farmers bring their cattle for routine check-ups. A similar market is held for goats and sheep at K.V. Kuppam in the diary every Monday and this has been going on for several years,” said G. Anduvan, Assistant Director, Department of Animal Husbandry (Vellore).

Officials of Animal Husbandry Department said that most of the dairy farmers at the market come mainly for milch cows. It will help them to earn additional income apart from farming activities. During festival season, especially Pongal, the market gets more cattle for sale as farmers are eager to buy during such auspicious occasions. Most of the farmers usually prefer cash payments over online transactions as their digital knowledge is almost nil.

Collector V.R. Subbulaxmi told The Hindu that restrictions on carrying cash cannot be relaxed. At the same time, the weekly market cannot be temporarily closed for the election as it affects the age-old trade in the town. Instead, the Collector said that people should carry valid documents to carry cash with them. Proper documents to prove the source of money should be produced to get the seized money from the monitoring team.

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