10 Jul 2024  |   06:34am IST

Panjim’s fish market serves capital stench for ‘Smart City residents’

Scores of worms were seen feeding on the fish waste dumped in the gutter
Panjim’s fish market serves capital stench for ‘Smart City residents’

UPENDRA NAIK

PANJIM: Though Goa boasts of high human development indices, Panjim’s filthy fish market will put any Ponjekar to shame. Early morning fish lovers have to dodge the narrow passages of the fish market, and the slippery floor to fetch their prized ‘catch’. But this is an ominous task, since Panjim does not have a well-planned, clean fish market, even as Goa is nationally billed high on health parameters.

The shocking reality is that the Panjim fish market has been erected on a road, after fisherwomen refused to sit in the three storied adjoining building, which was the intended fish market. Now that place is used by those cleaning fish and selling chicken. The fish market and its surroundings are so filthy that they churn your guts with the nauseating smell at the beginning of the day.

Fisherwomen complained that at many places the gutters were open and the roof was leaking. One woman said sewage water was passing through a section of the market. The market didn’t have water, toilets for men and women. 

“Why has the Smart City not paid attention to constructing a decent market, since the present one is situated on the road?” they asked.

In the fish-cleaning section, fish waste is dumped into the gutter. Scores of worms feed on the fish waste.

Albertine, who has been selling fish in Panjim market for decades, said, “A gutter passes right below the place I sit, which tends to get choked frequently and the sewage overflows. The municipality workers have kept the gutter slabs open, so that it can be cleaned whenever it gets choked. It is dangerous to sit here since we may fall in the gutter. I have purchased a Rs 3,000 slab to cover the gutter below so that I don’t fall into it.”

Another fish vendor Leandrine Fernandes said, “The renovation work of the toilet is going at a snail’s speed.  Due to this, we have to face a lot of hardships. If we go to the new market to use the toilet, the crows take away our unattended fish.” 

“There is no tap water here. They had promised long ago that they would put a pipeline, but they haven’t. We don’t want to talk against the authorities, but we are telling the truth. We are tired of telling them; I hope if we tell the media, they will see and complete the toilets fast,” Fernandes added.

Another fish vendor who sits in the intended fish market said, “Nobody cares for us. We do not get many customers by sitting here. The metal sheets over our head are leaking. We have complained to the CCP staff several times. They only give assurances and never return.”

A chicken vendor said, “The CCP collects chicken waste and garbage daily. The chicken waste is collected separately. There is no problem. We have to pay tax and they give a receipt. There is no problem regarding cleanliness. It only leaks in the rainy season.”

Being the capital city, it remains to be seen when Panjim will get a full-fledged market. There are plans of demolishing the storied fish market which was never used. The question is when this will happen. Till then, Panjimites will have to continue to suffer the stench each morning.


IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar