MARGAO: The South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) drove away Niz Goemkar fish vendors on Thursday on the ground that the wholesale fish market has no place for retail fish sale either inside or outside the market.
A visit to the wholesale fish market on early Friday morning revealed an altogether different story. Dozens of fish vendors, mostly migrants, were not only involved in the retail sale of fish inside the wholesale fish market, but they seemed to have had a field day with no one questioning the retail fish activity for reasons best known to the SGPDA officials.
Retail fish vendors
In fact, the entire space adjoining the tin sheets erected adjacent to the market building under construction played host to migrant vendors, who were found selling fish in retail with weighing scales.
Questions are being raised in local circles about how come the migrant fish vendors are allowed to sell fish in retail inside the wholesale fish market when the SGPDA on Thursday drove away traditional fishermen despite claiming they were wholesale fish traders.
The large presence of migrant vendors inside the wholesale fish market engaged in retail fish sale has only brought to the fore the allegations that migrant vendors make merry inside the wholesale fish market in connivance with the powers that be.
In fact, during a meeting of the stakeholders called by the Margao Municipal Chief Officer, Gaurish Sankhwalkar earlier this week as per the High Court directions to review the situation at the wholesale fish market, president of Margao wholesale fish market traders M Ibrahim had made a huge accusation against the SGPDA for allowing hundreds of retail fish vendors in the wholesale fish market.
Call to stop retail fish vendors
Ibrahim had demanded that the SGPDA stop the retail fish vendors from conducting business inside the wholesale fish market immediately. It is not clear whether the MMC Chief Officer will note down the accusation made by Ibrahim in the minutes of the meeting for submission before the High Court.
A group of Goan fish vendors on Friday also questioned the presence of migrant fish vendors inside the wholesale fish market when the SGPDA had driven away ramponkars and traditional fishermen doing business outside the market. “The SGPDA should explain to the people how the migrant vendors are doing brisk business inside the wholesale fish market when the market is notified as a wholesale fish market,” a Goan fishermen wondered, saying the local fishermen should get the priority in the wholesale fish market for sale of the catch.