The unhygienic conditions in the SGPDA retail market came back to haunt the PDA authorities as well as the stakeholders, including fish vendors, fish cleaners and cutters, besides shoppers.
As garbage was all strewn in the market and waterlogging being the order of the day, traditional Goan fish vendors engaged in cleaning fish in the retail market knocked the doors of the PDA with a plea to take urgent steps to stop the foul odour emanating in the market.
The fish cleaners, operating at the fish cutting shed, said that they have to contend with foul odour in the market for no fault of theirs. “We are engaged in the business of fish cleaning and cutting. Over the last few days, we have come across foul odour in the market due to the unhygienic conditions posing a health hazard and nuisance,” remarked a fish cutter.
The cutter added: “When the customers come to us to clean or cut the fish, they complain of the unhygienic conditions and the foul odour. They ask us why the pathetic state is not brought to the notice of the PDA authorities.
Another vendor said the gutters are clogged with waste emitting foul smell. “We pay the sopo fees to the PDA without fail, but there’s no maintenance of the shed and the surroundings,” she added.
SGPDA Chairman, MLA Krishna Daji Salkar along with PDA Member Secretary, Sheikh Ali later visited the fish cutting shed for an interaction with the lady fish cutters and to get a firsthand account of the ground situation.
While saying it is not something new that a fish market smells of fish, Salkar, however, promised to bring about a turnaround in the market by next week. “I will make arrangements to provide 10 dustbins to the workers engaged in the market cleanliness work. I will also provide my own workers, not from the PDA, to clean up the area around the fish cutting shed,” he told the media.
He added: “We have started the exercise to clean up the clogged drains which have not been touched for the last 20 years. The work is underway and people will soon see a turnaround. I am happy that the fish vendors have now agreed to pay higher sopo fees for the market cleanliness.”
While saying the PDA is committed to provide better amenities to the fish vendors as well as the shoppers, Salkar said the Authority will address the entire gamut of issues facing the PDA retail market at the meeting with the two MLAs Digambar Kamat and Vijai Sardesai and PDA members.