Renovation and modernisation works of the wholesale fish market at Pangode was inaugurated by Fisheries Minister S. Sharma here on Wednesday.

Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran inaugurated the effluent treatment plant constructed as part of the market modernisation project at the function presided over by mayor C. Jayan Babu.

The Rs 2.50 crore, being implemented with financial assistance from the National Fisheries Development Board, has been taken up by the city Corporation as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the civic body. Centre for Environment Development (CED) is the project implementation agency.

Speaking at the function Minister S. Sharma said that Pangode market will be the first such fish market in the state to be renovated with such a huge investment. ``With the completion of the project, we will be able to raise the market to international standards with modern facilities for storage, marketing and processing of fish. The prime focus of this renovation project will be on hygiene and sanitation,’’ he said.

Mr Sharma said that similar modernisation works will also be taken up at wholesale fish markets in Pathanamthitta, Aluva and North Paravur municipalities.

Mayor C. Jayan Babu said that the Corporation will follow all directions and suggestions of the High Court (HC) regarding the treatment of waste and sanitation of the fish market. Last year, the HC had directed the Corporation to relocate the fish market from Pangode following a petition filed by some residents’ associations in the locality who complained that the stench and pollution from the market was causing health hazards.

Repeated efforts of the Corporation to implement the market development project had also been stalled due to land constraints and protests by residents of the locality.

Mr Jayan Babu said that with the Revenue Department handing over around 40 cents of land for market development, these impediments have now been overcome. ``CED, the project implementation agency, has already completed the construction of the effluent treatment plant as per the direction of the High Court,’’ he said.

Modern shops, chilling unit, flake ice plant, sea food restaurant, separate counters for selling fresh and dry fishes, ornamental fish selling counter, cutting and dressing tables, parking space, bidding hall etc are among the features to come up at the renovated fish market at Pangode.

Opposition deputy leader G. Karthikeyan MLA, MLA V. Sivankutty, Deputy mayor V. Jayaprakash, Fisheries director P.A. Sheikh Pareed, Corporation health standing committee chairman G.R. Anil, development standing committee chairman K.O. Ashokan, welfare standing committee chairman S.A. Sundar, works standing committee chairman Puthenkada Vijayan, town planning standing committee chairperson M.S. Shobhita, tax appeal standing committee chairman Aisha Baker and Corporation council UDF leader Johnson Joseph were also present at the function.