The market receives over 50 lorries of seafood from coastal districts

Even as the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation is planning to build a modern fish market at Kuzhumani Road, the city’s major fish market at Puthur continues to languish without infrastructure and functions amidst poor sanitary conditions.

Traders say the main fish market in the city receives over 50 lorries of seafood on most days, especially on Saturdays and Sundays from coastal areas in Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts. Retail traders from neighbouring districts of Tiruchi also make their purchases from here.

Fifteen wholesale traders and about 20 retailers operate out of dingy shops in the market built several years ago and consumers have to brave the stench and unhygienic conditions to make their purchases. Residents living around the market have also been complaining over the dumping of garbage around the market.

Manpower shortage

Faced with manpower shortage, the Corporation is not able to clean the market regularly. An over-pervading stench prevails around the market owing to the poor sanitary condition and local residents have even staged an agitation last year demanding the market be shifted.

“The Corporation needs to improve sanitation inside the market, especially in the rear where the fish and mutton stalls are functioning. One can not even visit the shops selling tomatoes close to the fish market due to the unbearable stench,” said A. Gowri, a regular to the market.

Traders too concede that sanitation inside the market is very poor. A drain running inside has been clogged. A women’s toilet is in a very bad shape and men have to relieve themselves in the open spaces, they said. Some also complained over the poor lighting arrangements inside the market and short supply of water. The Corporation has planned to construct a modern wholesale fish market in the city, but the project is yet to take off. An official resolution on the subject adopted at the Corporation Council in June 2012 pointed out that the fish market was functioning in the congested locality and conceded that residents were facing hardships.

Although the Corporation had initially planned to build the complex at Thennur Anna Nagar, it subsequently decided to set up the facility at Kasivilangi along the Kuzhumani Road.

The market is said to be designed by the Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation and according to corporation sources the project would take off soon.

However, traders are not enthused over the prospect of having to move over to Kasivilangi. But they are willing to shift to Anna Nagar.

“Kasivilangi is too far away. The site is not easily accessible for consumers and also not safe for traders handling substantial amount of cash every day. Anna Nagar will be the ideal location for our requirements,” said S. Sahayaraj, secretary, Tiruchi Corporation Wholesale Fish Traders Association.

The association has already conveyed their preference to the civic authorities. “We hope to put forward our case again,” he said. But consumers say that the civic body should at least ensure cleanliness at the market until the new facility is ready.