October 14, 2019 4:25:29 am
Ganesh Peth Fish Market, the city’s biggest wholesale seafood market, has finally shifted out of the filthy nullah it was operating from for the last six years to its new building constructed by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). However, the state of the new building and lack of the promised facilities have left the fish sellers fuming.
Though a total of Rs 2.5 crore has gone into the new building, it lacks basic amenities such as a lift, high-capacity electricity supply and toilets for traders and visitors. As reported earlier, although the construction work was completed in 2018, the market could not be opened for business as due to lack of funds no electrical work could be done. It now appears that although no additional funds have been received for the electrical work, the PMC’s Bhavan Department managed to do some basic light fittings and asked fish sellers to occupy it considering the dangers of using the nullah in the current situation. Overflowing nullahs due to sudden and high intensity rainfall have taken several lives in the city.
According to fish sellers, PMC officials allegedly shifted them forcefully to the new building without giving any prior intimation or serving any notices.
“They suddenly came around noon and asked us to shift the shops to the new building. They broke the stalls in the nullahs so that people are not left with any option but to leave. A lot of fish was spoiled in the commotion that day,” said Anusaya Pardeshi, a seller.
As the commotion of shifting died down, shopkeepers realised that the new building does not have the facilities that they were promised six years ago when they were persuaded to temporarily move out.
As per the project plan, the new building was supposed to have facilities for parking of two-wheelers, four-wheelers and bicycles in the basement, system for effective collection and disposal of the waste from each of the two floors. The first floor of the complex was to have a capacity to house 60 retail shops for fish, 10 for mutton and two for ice crushing along with cleaning, dressing rooms as well as toilets for customers and sellers. The second floor was to house 22 wholesale shops and office spaces to be used by PMC officials to monitor the market.
“When we moved in, we saw that it has no facilities. There is no lift, no refrigeration facilities as promised. Even the electrical supply is not satisfactory. The building has already started to leak,” said Sumit Pardeshi, a seller.
Many other fish sellers said that the building did not have a proper approach road, which not only causes inconvenience to buyers to reach the market but also means that vehicles carrying the wares, ice and other things can’t reach the market at all.
“They were supposed to remove the shanties located right at the entrance. They have not done that. Many of us are now feeling that we were better off when we were in the nullah,” said another trader.
Abhijit Sathe, an engineer with the electrical department of PMC, said that the work has not been completed as promised due to lack of funds.
“We have done some minimal light fittings as directed by the Bhavan department, but electrical work related to refrigeration and other things has not happened due to lack of funds. The tender for setting up an elevator was floated, but due to some issue it had to be withdrawn. We will now again float it after the Model Code of conduct is over,” said Sathe.
In 2013, the PMC had demolished the 80-year-old structure promising an extensive revamp of the facilities. The cost of the project was pegged at Rs 2.5 crore at that time, of which Rs 2.25 crore was to be provided by the National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad, while rest of the investments was to be made by the PMC.
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