15 Nov 2017 05:37am IST
For the last 40 years, the daily market is being carried along the streets of the Gandhi and New Market in the morning; RTI activist says market can be shifted to land near the Collectorate, which was earlier acquired by the Tourism Dept
Thousands of people from across Goa and from the neighboring states come to Margao, the state’s commercial capital to buy and sell their fruits and vegetables produce. With such amount of business the town should by now have had dedicated market place for wholesale fruits and vegetable business. However, the need for a wholesale market for vegetables and fruits has been felt off late following the MMC’s crackdown on the morning wholesale market vendors in the New Market areas following complaints by some elements.
The wholesale fruits and vegetables business in Margao starts at 4 am and winds up by 8.30 pm and the turnover is more than the retail business put together the entire day. Like the wholesale fish market, the vegetable and fruit business is the biggest in Goa.
For the last 40 years, this daily market is being carried along the streets of the Gandhi and New Market in the morning. Fresh vegetables, fruits, garlic, chilies, coconuts and other items are sold to retailers by producers from Gaondongrim, Morpirla, Netravali interiors of Quepem and others. Traders from Porvorim, Panjim, Vasco, Chandor, Mapusa etc. too visit this market. However, this market has hit a big road block due to the alleged interference of power groups from market areas, who have been complaining to the MMC, which had conducted raids impacting the vendors business.
One of the wholesalers from Canacona said, "Is this the way the civic body treats its revenue areas? Why does the MMC interfere during off duty? We will be forced to shift our sale to places elsewhere which will only inflate prices of the daily products".
Sriram Raiturkar, a Margao resident and an RTI activist said, "Don't be under the impression that Margao does not have a land for wholesale vegetable and fruits. It does have and it is near the Collectorate. It is only that no one has taken it seriously".
He further said that the TCP Minister is in control of the MMC and can solve the problem of the wholesale market once and for all by shifting the same to the above land which was earlier acquired by the Tourism Department.
The Gandhi Market and New Market are saturated to such an extent that there is no space for expansion. Now, several traders coming with the fresh fruits and vegetables are forced to leave the market streets saying that there is encroachment. However, some angry traders have advised the MMC against playing into the hands of Gandhi Market and New Market groups. "Give us a land for the wholesale market or at least give us freedom to sell our produce at the designated time," said a trader. MMC Chairperson Babita Angle said, "We have got complaints from the New Market and Gandhi Market traders of congestion and we have been taking action since then. However, we are not against having trade in Margao but want them to approach us so that we can mediate and solve the problem once and for all".