Civic body issues tender to build modern fish market off Marina. Hawkers have expressed reservations.

Chennai Corporation has put out a tender for the proposed modern fish hawkers market on Marina Loop Road.

The value for this work is Rs.7,97,70,373.

The superintending engineer of GCC’s Buildings Department oversees this project.

GCC plans to construct this market in a large parcel of its land on the same road to accommodate all the hawkers who now sell seafood on and off the road, with the busy sales spots on the north and south ends of the road.

Many hawkers and fisher community leaders have already said they have reservations on the new project, fearing drop in sales when they are asked to sit inside demarcated, built-up stalls.

Slip-shod, unplanned fish markets built this far by GCC in the past, without need-based planning have been failures, being abandoned months after they were launched. Example – the pavement market off KVB Gardens on R K Mutt Road.

In other places where a fish market was built at much cost, hawkers have abandoned it or treated it as storage house and moved hawking to roadside and GCC has looked on as helpless bystanders. The market in Nadu kuppam, alongside QMC is an example.

GCC officials have said that they plan a modern market with facilities for hawker stalls, fish waste blocks, parking, storage and the like.

Women fish hawkers say that their sales are best done in the open, allowing shoppers to move from stall to stall freely instead of being cooped inside closed spaces.

Community leaders and others have opposed the ‘development’ of this road which they claim belongs to the community as its work and sales space and is instead improved to allow vehicular traffic and beach beautification, thus infringing on fishers core work and sales.

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