Central Market Merchants’ Association office-bearers on Tuesday urged the district administration and the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) to collect opinions of all the merchants at Central Market before demolishing the existing building.
Association Honorary President M Ahammed Bava told reporters at the Patrika Bhavan that all the merchants at the Central Market should be shifted to a new location on a temporary basis with all the amenities required for a market.
“The merchants will support the authorities in the construction of a new market under the Smart City Mission (SCM). A high power committee of the state government has already approved of the proposal to reconstruct the Central Market building in Hampankatta as a modern market complex at a cost of Rs 145 crore on a public-private partnership basis,” said the president.
“At present, there are 132 wholesale merchants selling coconuts, fruits and vegetables, 342 retail merchants, and 18 flower shops. There are merchants who sell clothes, aluminium vessels, grocery, toys, perfumes, canteen and toilet facilities at the Central Market. All the merchants engaged in business activities possess trade licence from the Mangaluru City Corporation and pay rent to the local body. Further, the merchants of the Central Market come under the rules and regulations of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act and have obtained required permission from the APMC,” he assured.
He added that although the district administration and the MCC promised to provide temporary arrangements for all the merchants on alternative identified land by August, to pull down the existing Central Market. However, even after December, no arrangements have been made so far.
General Secretary Janardhan Salian said that over 1,000 labourers are eking a living by working in different capacities at the Central Market.
“There are more than 300 daily wage labourers here in the market. The Central Market has been a source of livelihood for over 10,000 families. It is also a platform for the local farmers to sell their farm produce,” said Salian.
“Further, the Central Market is a symbol for fostering communal harmony as the vegetables from the market are supplied to places of worship,” he added.
As per the new proposal on the Central Market, a sewage treatment plant, a bio-digester, a cold storage facility and roof-top solar panels are among the additional amenities mooted for the modern Central Market project.