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Fish markets a non-starter

Bhubaneswar, April 14: Lack of interest by the civic authorities has allegedly stalled renovation of two major fish markets in the city situated at Nageswar Tangi and Unit-IV.

Both the fish markets are traditionally known for varieties of fish in the city. The Nageswar Tangi daily market is known for its collection of “chuna machha” (small fish) and “jianta machha” (live fish), while the Unit-IV fish market is the biggest fish supply point in the city with 22 merchants doing supply-chain business.

Both the markets are under the control of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

“I have been visiting the Nageswar Tangi daily market for the last 15 years, but there has not been any visible change in the entire set-up of the market except the flooring. Construction of a new market complex with multiple floors for fish and vegetables can give a new dimension to the ambience of the entire area,’’ said Shakti Mohanty, a resident of Samantarapur.

Former councillor of Nageswar Tangi Nrupesh Nayak said: “There was once a plan to construct a new market building in my ward. According to plans, the market complex should have come up within two years from the date of commencement of the work.”

Explaining why the market plan never progressed, Nayak said: “Proposals were invited from architects to design the market in an area of around 25,000 square feet, but it failed to attract private players and not a single bidder came to propose the design for the market. We do not know what was the reason behind the failure.’’

Similarly, the plan to renovate the Unit-IV fish market, which has been operating since 1970s, is yet to be implemented.

“A plan was notified in the newspaper for the Unit-IV fish market. But, after the bid of the first architect was rejected, it never materialised following subsequent notifications,” said Sasmita Nanda, former councillor of the area.

Nanda blamed the dilly-dallying attitude of the municipal corporation as the files moved at snail’s pace.

“It seemed as if the authorities had no interest to pursue the plan for the Unit-IV fish market. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation should have shown interests to get the project through,’’ she added.

Jasaswini Mohapatra, a homemaker from Siripur, said: “The Unit-IV market has become an unhealthy place and the situation becomes unbearable during rainy season. The civic authorities should think about it once again and renovate the market.”

Seikh Mustafa, president of the Fish Traders’ Association at Unit-IV market, said: “The renovation plan of the fish market has been limited only to the laying of the foundation stone. In the past, we had tried to revive the proposal twice or thrice by visiting the office of the civic body, but nothing could materialise. We will again try for it once the election is over.”

Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s executive engineer of Division-II A.K. Parida said: “I joined last year and the foundation stone was laid in 2011. So, I cannot comment on the issue right now.”

Additional municipal commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation Krushna Prasad Pati said: “The projects have not been shelved. We will consider them according to the availability of funds.”