Udupi, (The Hindu): It has been a year and a half since fisherwomen shifted from the temporary market at Beedinagudde to Udupi Fisherwomen’s Hi-tech Fish Market on Poornaprajna Road here, but there seems to be no end in sight to their woes.
The hi-tech market is the main fish market in the city. Constructed at a cost of Rs.2.6 crore and inaugurated on January 14, 2017, it has 125 fish sale counters. It is a one-storeyed building, with wet fish being sold on the ground floor and dry fish and shellfish sold on the first floor.
But water leakage on the ground floor has made life difficult for the fisherwomen, some of whom sit outside their allotted place to cut fish on the eastern side. The same problem is present in the fish cutting section and the fisherwomen’s dressing room.
Bharati Puthran, who brings fish from Malpe Fisheries Harbour, said: “We cannot not sit under a leaking roof and cut the fish. So we sit outside the area allotted to us and do our work.”
Sulochana, another fisherwoman, said many of them have slipped and fallen in the fish cutting section because anti-slip floors have not been laid there. “We have to be careful while walking here,” she said.
Another problem is the improper construction of drains. The waste water from the fish counters don’t drain properly because of haphazard construction.
But this is not all. The small drains constructed below the fish sale counters, where the customers purchase fish, have no mesh protection. “Because of this, some customers have fallen while purchasing fish,” said Baby, a fisherwoman. Though there is a toilet on the eastern section of the market, no tap connection has been installed. As a result, the fisherwomen and customers have to collect water from big drums. “We have brought all these matters to the notice of the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) and other authorities. They keep on saying they will take action, but nothing gets done,” said Saraswati, a member of the executive committee of the Udupi Mahila Hasimeenu Maratagarara Sangha.
Meanwhile, G.C. Janardhana, CMC Commissioner, said these matters had come to their notice and they would take measures to address them soon.
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