Karwar fish market cries for attention

Govind D. Belgaumkar
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Political parties have ignored its modernisation

The pathway leading to the market is dirty as vendors sprinkle water on fish to keep it fresh.— PHOTO: GOVIND D. BELGAUMKAR
The pathway leading to the market is dirty as vendors sprinkle water on fish to keep it fresh.— PHOTO: GOVIND D. BELGAUMKAR

Modernisation of the fish market here has not found favour with the candidates fighting the Assembly elections, if one goes by its condition now.

People can walk into this market in the heart of the town only after covering their noses with kerchiefs to ward off the foul smell emanating from the rotting waste.

Puddles are seen on the path way leading to the market as vendors sprinkle water on fish to keep it fresh. A visitor can hardly miss fish fins and other leftovers in the small dirty drains. Rotting fish fins and other parts are dumped in corners and heaps of fish and fish baskets are placed too close to drains.

“Once you visit it, you will never feel like going there again,” said S.R. Naik, retired principal of Shivaji College.

“Fold your trousers before going to the fish market,” advised Vinod N., autorickshaw driver. “Otherwise, it will be soiled with salt water. You can see people trying to ensure that their trousers and saris are not soiled,” he added.

A tailor, who has a shop at one entrance of the market, said women selling fish had been occupying the pathway leading to the market for the last eight to 10 years. However, vendors such as Sulochana Naik and Sheethal Matha said they did not have adequate place in the market building. They demanded that the city municipality provide them a place where they can do business.

According to sources in the municipality, about 450 women sell fish in the market. However, it has no specific plan to modernise it yet.

The municipality recently constructed sheds spending over Rs. 10 lakh on the Karwar beach to shift fish vendors till a new market is constructed.

A signboard ‘Meenu Marukatte’ is kept ready in the office of Assistant Executive Engineer, Vinayakrao Patil, for the makeshift market.

When Mr. Patil was asked why the municipality had constructed temporary sheds in the absence of a proper plan for the market’s modernisation, he disconnected the call abruptly.

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