Slam Vishwajit for his ‘ineffectual’ handling of problem; Threaten to shut down municipal market if fish supply is not restored within 15 days
MAPUSA: The Mapusa fish vendors have slammed Health Minister Vishwajit Rane for not finding a permanent solution to the formalin issue at a protest staged outside the fish market on Thursday morning.
During the protest, the vendors shouted slogans saying, ‘Stop formalin and start the import of fish’. They said that there has been no import of fish in Goa and the markets are wearing a deserted look.
If the matter is not looked into at the earliest, the fish vendors have threatened a shutdown of the Mapusa municipal market.
If within the next 15 days, Vishwajit does not restore the supply of fish, the vendors have threatened to close down the entire Mapusa market. The vendors warned that they could keep the market closed even for a week.
The fish vendors have also demanded if he cannot find a solution to their woes, Rane should resign from his post.
Mapusa Fish Vendors Association President Shashikala Govekar criticized the minister for his “ineffectual handling” of the issue that has affected the supply of fish in the markets and also the livelihood of the vendors.
“Besides mackerels and sardines, there is no other fish (in the market). In this market, fish used to come from Calangute and Baga. We used to get fish from Margao as well, but (there is fear among people) that the fish brought from Margao is formalin laced. If so, they should stop that fish and set up an office there so that they can check if formalin is present and then send out the fish from there. This fish is being supplied to major markets namely Valpoi, Bicholim, Sanquelim, Mapusa and Panaji,” she said.
The fish vendors demanded that an office to be set up at Mapusa fish market for checking whether fish is laced with formalin; that would clear the doubt of the consumers. “People will then believe that the fish is fresh and free of formalin,” she said.
“People do not want to even come to the market or buy the fish available with us. The fish vendors sitting in Mapusa market are fed up as there are very few buyers for the fish. If Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were well, he would have found a solution to our problem. Since he is unwell we are on the verge of begging. We pray for his speedy recovery,” Shashikala said.