Mangaluru, April 7, 2020: In an abrupt and surprising move Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) has decided to shut down the age old central market in the city and instructed the vendors to temporarily relocate to APMC yard at Baikampady.
The civic body has cited dilapidated state of the old building and its plans to rebuild it into a modern market complex as the reason for the move.
Incidentally this comes at a time when there is much confusion in supply and distribution of civic supplies, grocery and vegetables due to disruption caused by national lockdown to combat COVID 19 pandemic.
The City Corporation, in a media release has stated, “The corporation market situated at Kasba Bazar village known as central vegetable and fish market is in two old buildings. These buildings have been in a dilapidated condition and are declared as beyond repair. Therefore, the corporation has taken steps to demolish the same and erect a new building on modern lines by complying with all the requirements to make shopping easy and more congenial from the health and sanitation point of view.
“Furthermore, the present market building does not suit to contain the new coronavirus (COVID-19) disease which requires social distancing to be maintained wherever people congregate. This is necessary keeping in view of the overall health and wellbeing of the citizens in the city.
“Hence, considering the circumstances the corporation had decided to close down the market. No business would be allowed to continue in the building any further.
“However, vendors could approach the APMC yard at Baikampady and secure a spot if they wished to continue with their business,” the media release stated.
Many citizens have questioned the wisdom of this move as people are already finding it difficult to procure essential items. As Central Market is the hub of wholesale trade in vegetables and grocery items, citizens are apprehensive that further hardship could be in store for them, especially because APMC Yard is situated about 10 kms from the city and transportation is highly restricted with police blockades all over the city.
Some have even accused MCC of taking advantage of the prevailing confusion to bypass resistance from vendors to clear the market and push forward its agenda for constructing a new building for the Central Market.
Despite its lofty promises, the city corporation is notorious for its hasty and ill conceived decisions which have often left citizens in the lurch. Earlier, Lady Goschen Hospital had been similarly demolished and the reconstruction project got stuck for years due to lack of funds. Poor patients who depended on the hospital had to suffer much due to this. MRPL finally bailed out the situation by coming forward to sponsor the completion of lady Goschen Hospital.
It is feared that the Central Market project too might meet with similar fate and the citizens might be left without a Central Market for years to come.