Social distancing norms thrown to wind at Margao wholesale fish market




Clashes were reported between the South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) appointed contractor Milagres Fernandes and the president of the wholesale fish traders association, Ibrahim Maulana on the issue of maintaining social distancing on Saturday. The fish traders did not follow the social distancing norms which are to be strictly followed during the COVID pandemic.

SGPDA contractor Fernandes later filed a police complaint at the Fatorda  police station on the president of the  wholesale fish traders association Ibrahim Maulana  claiming that the Maulana  pushed him away when he  insisted for  maintaining social distancing from people crowding near fish laden vehicles of the Maulana.  “He (Maulana) is threatening us. In this situation we cannot do our job. Government and the SGPDA have to take action, Fernandes said.

Interestingly, on Saturday also there was no social distancing maintained at the wholesale fish market while carrying out the fish trade despite the areas being  barricaded.

Retailers were seen rushing and crowding in front of fish vehicles that were brought inside the market throwing social distancing norms into the wind. While  the fish traders says  maintaining social distancing  becomes difficult  because SGPDA reduced the time to carry out fishing activity at Goa’s only  wholesale fish market, the  SGPDA chairman Wilfred D’Sa  on the other hand  alleges that traders wanted to sell unchecked fish outside the market creating  chaos in the wholesale fish market.

The wholesale fish market sees hundreds of visitors daily from across the state.  Several inter-state truck drivers carrying fish and hailing from COVID hot spots of neighbouring states enter the town and hence it is a potential place to transmit the virus if proper care and measures are not taken.

We appeal to the authorities to shut the market if social distancing cannot be maintained as Goa is currently experiencing an increasing number of COVID positive cases,’’ a resident said.

The officials from the district administration were also seen present at the wholesale fish market to report the same to the collector’s office.