Udupi’s new ‘hi-tech’ fish market lacks infra

The ‘hi-tech’ fish market located in the heart of the city near Poorna Prajna College was built at a cost of Rs 2.60 crore by the Karnataka State Coastal Development Authority (KSCDA). The market can accommodate 180 stalls. 

But it does not have full-fledged toilets. Fisherwomen lamented that the structure was built ‘unscientifically’ and failed to meet their needs.

Fresh Fish Selling Women’s Association President Baby Salian told DH that the maintenance of the market was being done by fisherwomen themselves.  She charged the city municipal administration staff of being apathetic. She said that those involved in the construction of the building were unaware that women, unlike men, cannot use toilets without doors.

‘Unhygienic’

She lamented that the administration, which approved the final phase of the structure, did not realise the need for proper toilet facilities.

Another fisherwoman Savitri alleged that they had to carry the water themselves in order to clean the unhygienic toilets.

“Women draw water from a nearby well and clean the market,” she pointed out.

“The area is totally unhygienic. There is no facility to even dispose of sanitary pads. The wastewater stagnates in the narrow channel spreading many diseases. We are forced to flush out the wastewater on the floor and unblock channels connecting the main sewage drain. Foul smell arises from the stagnant water,” she said.

Salian added that the number of customers had decreased because of the unhygienic condition of the fish market. She said that the temporary market provided to them in Beedenagudde was much better. “At least the market had better amenities,” she stressed.

Fisherwomen blamed

But the municipal administration blames the fisherwomen for the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the market.

CMC Environment Engineer Raghavendra said the women do not prefer to pay the minimal charges imposed by the administration for maintenance of fish market.

“The waste can be disposed of with the money by municipality trucks which pass through the area every morning. The women had agreed to maintain the building instead of paying a minimum amount to maintain the market,” he added.

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