Kottayam Municipality’s ‘eco-friendly’ vegetable market faces threat of collapse
Chinks have begun to appear in an ambitious project of Kottayam Municipality, the eco-friendly vegetable market at Kodimatha started one year ago.
Several deep cracks that were recently formed in the two rooms inside the market have created anxiety among traders. Besides, minor cracks can be seen in other rooms as well as on the exterior of the building.
Living in fear
Asif, a tenant of the market building, says the cracks were formed in a short span of time. “We are gripped by the fear that the rooms could collapse every time a lorry carrying goods passes by the building. With the monsoon approaching, our concerns are likely to be doubled. I have furnished a security deposit of Rs. 2 lakh at the time of commencing business and continue to pay the monthly rent of Rs. 2000 on time. The Municipality is supposed to resolve our problem by permitting us to shift the shops to other unused rooms,”he said. The trader has submitted complaints to the District Collector and the Municipal authorities, but to no avail.
Traders in the market suspect that the development of cracks could be the result of using unscientific techniques during the piling stage of the construction. The Rs. 4.5 crore market complex was constructed over a plot of land that had been reclaimed from a wetland.
Somehow, the Municipality is yet to respond to the situation. When contacted, Municipal chairman M.P. Santhosh Kumar admitted that he was aware of the situation.
He claimed that the necessary measures such as maintenance works would be conducted after holding a
meeting of the councillors and officials. He, however, ruled out the possibility of providing the traders with new facilities.
The vegetable market has been facing different kinds of problems since its launch.
Several traders, who were compelled to shift their business to the new premises, have alleged that the authorities have turned a blind eye to the fact that many traders continue to run businesses near the old market as well as at other parts of the town.
The issue of holding regular bus services to the locality continues to remain as another bone of contention, resulting in a dip in the influx of consumers.
Kottayam Municipality authorities turn a blind eye to the plights of traders at the Kodimatha vegetable market, which was started one year ago.