Mangaluru: What good is it to inaugurate a new business, and then not open for business after launching- here are two examples happened right in town, where two newly built markets were inaugurated by politicians and other VIPs, and since the inauguration both these two markets, one at Jeppu and the other vat Bejai are still not open for business.
Recalling the inauguration report, amid protests by fisher-women, the newly built Jeppu Fish Market was inaugurated by Minister for Urban Development Vinay Kumar Sorake on 19 October 2015. The new market has ample space for selling dry fish, and raw fish, has been built at a cost of Rs. 92.5 lakh provided by the National Fisheries Development Board-Hyderabad; and the Fisheries Department of Government of Karnataka. As many as 21 stalls on the ground floor will sell sea and fresh water fish, while 25 stalls on the first floor will sell dry fish and other seafood. Four public toilets have also been constructed. The construction of this building began in 2011.
Prior to the inauguration there was a protest by a group of fisher-women from other parts of the city who demanded that the Mangaluru City Corporation should also provide them space to sell fish. “The space should not be restricted only to those from Jeppu and surrounding areas” argued these non-localites fisher-women, who had also submitted a memorandum in this regard to the district authorities. Also the market was inaugurated without electricity and water supply. Also it is learnt that the market was inaugurated without any discussions in council meetings. At present the situation is that, MCC is demanding Rs 40 as rent per day from the fisher-women, which they are not agreeing to.
Speaking to Mangalorean.com, Vishalakshi a fisher-woman who has been selling fish around the new market for decades said, ” We are happy that a new market has built after many years, which will be very convenient for people to shop. But we are not happy with the rent that MCC wants to charge us- we are not ready to pay Rs 40 which they are asking us per day as rent. Ever since fish vendors started their business selling fish at houses/apartments doors, our business has been dull. MCC should also charge these mobile fish vendors for doing their business. If MCC agrees and allows us to do business at the new market for Rs 20 per day as rent, we will move in, if not we will stay where we are.”. In the meantime, residents around that area who were anxiously waiting to buy their at the new market will have to wait, when the market gates are open for business.
Another newly inaugurated fish/veg market was the Bejai Market- Urban development minister Vinay Kumar Sorake and Dakshina Kannada district in-charge minister Ramanath Rai on November 21 had inaugurated the long-pending Bejai market building, ten years after work was started. Presently the first phase of the complex, comprising three of the total six floors which were ready was inaugurated. Sorake inaugurating the market said, “Today, after 10 years, this market has been inaugurated. We have undertaken various developmental works in the city. Foundation has been laid for many of the works, and some roads have been inaugurated. Mangaluru has entered the Smart City list because of its potential, and because it meets the criteria given by the central government, it has scored the highest marks.”
MLC Ivan D’Souza during the launching said, “It is really a matter of great joy that this market has been inaugurated after 10 long years. This market has been built at a cost of approximately Rs 4 crore. There was a request from the people of this area and today it has been built systematically. I congratulate MCC on completing the work on this market.” Okay, well said by the state minister and MLC, but why is the market still not open for business since the inauguration date. Even after ten days, there has been no signs of fisher-women nor vegetable sellers doing business in this market.
Speaking to mangalorean.com, Rosybai selling vegetables on the street opposite to the new market said, ” The MCC officials have promised us that we can move into the new market building by this week. But until it becomes a reality, we are still in doubts-it could take days or months before we start selling products in the new market. The new market looks good with better facilities, but right now it is simply vacant even after ten days since it was inaugurated. Hope we will get in there soon, if not it will be simply waste of tax payers money keeping a new market non-operational.”