SAMEER BHAT | NT
Chaos reigns supreme at the Curchorem GSUDA market in the absence of a proper management there with many vendors occupying whatever spaces available.
There are several illegal gadas at the market, and passages and footpaths are encroached by shopkeepers, putting the visitors to a lot of inconvenience.
The GSUDA market complex was constructed for rehabilitating the displaced gada owners and vegetable and fruit vendors, who were evicted from the main market, following court order.
The then MLA of Curchorem Domnick Fernandes was instrumental in acquiring 6,000 square metres of the prime land for the construction of the market.
Later, during the tenure of Ramarao Dessai as MLA, the market complex was constructed and was inaugurated at the hands of then chief minister Pratapsing Rane.
This market is having 208 shops and 80 sopo spaces. Some 32 gada owners and 28 vendors were allotted spaces on a rental basis in 2008.
Interestingly, though some gada owners are carrying out their business in the premises, the sopo spaces are almost empty, and vegetable and fruit vendors, florists and other vendors are doing their business in the parking zone beside the market complex.
Following complaints, the Curchorem Cacora Municipal Council (CCMC) had constructed the vendors’ zone behind the market complex.
The vendors were shifted to the said zone and parking area was cleared. Even identity cards were issued to the vendors doing business at the vendors’ zone.
But, soon the vendors realised that the customers avoid visiting their zone situated inside the market, and they moved to the parking zone again.
And, it is obvious now from the state of affairs that the CCMC has ‘no control’ over the situation at the market.
Illegal fruit vendors, who were doing business around the municipal building at the main market, were removed, and those who were paying sopo were rehabilitated at the market.
Interestingly, now, new vendors have surfaced and have encroached the area around the municipal building and are doing business there. And, the situation has come to the state as it was earlier.
There are some 30 shops lying vacant in the market complex, and no steps are being taken by the CCMC to lease out the shops through auction.
The gada owners in the market have now formed an association called Jai Hanuman Market Complex Association.
When contacted, president of the association P K Naik informed that the allotment of shops done in the beginning was faulty.
“Many displaced gada owners have not been allotted shops, and some persons, who were not displaced, have been allotted 2-3 shops. Many such shopkeepers have sublet the shops for good rent. At least the remaining shops should be given to the genuine displaced gada owners,” he demanded.
A fruit vendor Sushma Naik said that with much hope they shifted to the vendors’ zone after paying a deposit of Rs 5000, and the CCMC registered their names as official vendors and issued them identity cards.
“But to our dismay, the customers avoided visiting the vendors’ zone, and started frequenting the illegal vendors sitting beside the roads and footpaths. Therefore, we were forced to move out of the vendors’ zone and sit outside in the parking area for survival,” she said.
Now, if the CCMC forces us to shift again in the vendors’ zone, then all vendors should be shifted there and nobody should be allowed to carry out business outside the vendors’ zone, she stressed.
When contacted, CCMC chief officer Pramod Dessai said that he has recently taken the charge at the CCMC and is unaware of the situation at the market complex.
However, Dessai said that the vendors will be shifted to the vendors’ zone where sopo spaces have been constructed.
All the vendors carrying out their business in other places including roadsides and footpaths will be dealt with strictly, he said.
CCMC chairperson Sushant Naik said that some 30 shops have remained un-auctioned due to some technical difficulties. However, he said that the particular shops will be allotted after completing the required formalities.