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Cleanliness drive & money wise
Traders to pay user fee from Oct

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 2: The municipal corporation has decided to launch a cleanliness drive in the Unit I Daily Market so that shoppers can have a clean buy.

Expected to start within a week, user fee will be collected from shopkeepers to fund the drive. From October 1, traders at the market will have to pay monthly user fees ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000 depending on the size of their business.

While a small vendor will pay Rs 100 as users’ fee, the bigger ones, especially vegetable wholesalers and restaurant owners, who generate a lot of solid waste, would be charged Rs 1,000 a month. The use of dustbins will also be made mandatory for shopkeepers.

At present, the Unit I Daily Market is running in two sections — one consisting of 1,053 traders, who mostly sell grocery items and the other portion having 387 vegetable vendors.

Though the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has decided to embark on the drive, encroachment of the market has put its cleanliness at stake.

In the run up to the drive, municipal commissioner Krishan Kumar, along with other senior officials of the corporation, today paid a visit to the market and interacted with the shop owners and vendors.

The officials later held a meeting with representatives of the Unit I Daily Market Traders’ Association and the Vegetable Vendors’ Association.

“We told the traders that encroachment of the passages inside the market would not be tolerated. If any violation is noticed, action will be initiated against them,’’ Kumar said.

He also hinted that users’ fee collection would be gradually introduced in other city markets managed by the civic body. The corporation at present manages nine markets — Unit I, Unit IV, BJB Nagar, Siripur, Nageswar Tangi, VSS Nagar, Unit VI Kali Mandir, Unit III and Lingaraj Market Complex in Old Town. However, the last one near the Lingaraj temple has been declared unsafe as it is now in a dilapidated condition.

Corporation officer in-charge of markets Debashish Mohanty said: “Encroachment of the area inside Unit I Daily Market will be dealt with under Section 407 of the Odisha Municipal Corporation (OMC) Act, which empowers the commissioner to take action against the squatter by imposing a fine and confiscating the wares. The encroachment of drains near the market will be dealt under Section 293 of the OMC Act, 2003.’’

The civic body will also ensure that the market has proper facilities such as toilets, drinking water kiosks and parking lots for shoppers and traders.

General secretary of the Unit I Daily Market Traders’ Association Gayadhar Swain welcomed the decision to make the market a clean and spacious.

Shifting of godowns

In another major decision, the civic body has decided to relocate 31 vegetable traders and wholesalers in the market to a place near Patrapada. They will be given space to construct godowns-cum-shops, but they have to follow a proper architectural plan so that all have a uniform look.

“There will be rest rooms and toilets for those engaged in loading and unloading trucks. A common godown will also be there to be rented out in case someone runs out of space at his own facility,’’ said a senior official of the corporation.

The shifting of vegetable vendors and other wholesalers to Patrapada will minimise traffic problems near the roads leading to the Unit I Daily Market as trucks and mini-trucks block the traffic flow. Garbage generated by these traders also cause inconvenience to the public.