Out of the 66 shops in the newly-constructed fish market at Ukkadam, 19 shops had successful bidders in the e-auction held on Thursday.

Meanwhile, fish merchants in the old Ukkadam fish market on Thursday closed shops in protest against the auction system and demanded a friendly auctioning process.

The fish merchants expressed apprehension over involvement of syndicates and cartels in the e-auctioning. They even picketed the Corporation main office on Wednesday. Of the 66 shops, 46 are meant for fish merchants, 10 for mutton and 10 for dry fish shops. In Thursday's auction there were bids for 10 shops earmarked for fish vendors, six for mutton merchants and three for dry fish merchants. The highest bid was for Rs 5,250 per month and the lowest rent was Rs 3,000.

Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra said the number of shops that had bids proved that there was no syndicate or cartel. Fish merchants should not rely on middlemen and should take part in the auction process. Mr. Mishra exhorted them to be vigilant against being misled. They should not aspire for prime shops at lowest rates. Even for the remaining shops, the merchants could take part in the re-auction and avail the shops that had not received any bid in the auctions held on Thursday.

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