The under-construction fish mall in Dhurwa, Ranchi
This is one prized catch that continues to elude Ranchi residents.
The state’s first hi-tech fish mall in Dhurwa is caught in a delay jinx with the authorities failing to give a specific date as to when it will finally see the light of the day.
Construction of the Rs 3.48-crore wholesale mart, conceived by the fisheries department to give shoppers a chance to buy fish in hygienic surroundings, started in July, 2011, and was supposed to be completed by next year.
However, monsoon delayed work and the project got pushed back to February 2013.
But as is the trend in Jharkhand, 2013 came and went by, yet the mall, spanning over 80 decimal area on the campus of the fisheries department’s training centre in Dhurwa, Shalimar, could not be opened.
Another year has rolled in, but officials are clueless about when the mart would be finally ready.
As a result, Ranchi, which does not have an organised fish market, continues to depend on the dirty, mucky existing trade hub in Mallah Tola on Main Road.
“It was precisely because of this reason we planned a modern, state-of-the-art complex with storage boxes, lockers to keep unsold stocks and packaging facilities. For both fish sellers and buyers, the Dhurwa market will serve as a model shopping hub across the state,” said Ashish Kumar, deputy director of the fisheries department.
But, like others, he wasn’t sure when it would be finally completed. “Construction is on at the moment. It should be over within a few months,” was his vague reply.
Fisheries director Rajiv Kumar cited the intricacies involved in building the three-storey upscale structure for the delay. “The exterior of the building is almost over, but we wanted to give it an artistic look for which time is required. We are aiming to get everything done within this financial year,” director Kumar said, ruling out any financial hurdle.
If sources are to be believed, bureaucratic hassles are certainly acting as a major deterrent for completion of the mall. According to them, construction work suffered many a time in the past year because of non-timely release of funds.
“Our department’s executive engineer simultaneously holds charge of animal husbandry, dairy, agriculture and fisheries. Naturally, he is busy with paper work like tenders, re-tenders and doesn’t have time to go for field inspections. When field inspections don’t take place on time, bill payments automatically get delayed,” said a source.