The temple town’s dream of having a well-built fish market seems to be a distant dream even after three years after the project started. The project began on July 15, 2013, and was scheduled to be completed by October 14, 2014, by the Coastal Development Authority (CDA). But, the project is still pending. The construction is taking place on 31 cents of land near Poornaprajna College at an estimated cost of Rs 1.99 crore. Of this, the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) is providing 90% of the funding. The state government has provided Rs 10 lakh and CMC Udupi has also contributed Rs 10 lakh. Due to the delay in the completion of the project, nearly 250 fisherwomen are forced to operate their business from a temporary fish market at Beedinagudde since the past three years with minimal facilities. While speaking to TOI, Baby Salian, president of the Udupi Taluk Wet Fish Sellers’ Association, said”, “Fisherwomen are fed up with the delay in the project completion. The temporary market which functions from Beedingugge hardly any facilities. During the rainy season, water leaks from the tin sheet ceiling. There is no proper drainage system and no toilet facility. After threatening the officials to launch protests, they facilitated toilet a week back. Also, the electric pole next to the market is in bad shape and can fall anytime. But, the officials don’t seem bothered at all with our problems. “We are unhappy with the way the officials are behaving. The reason for the delay keeps on changing. First it was the restructuring of the designs of the building, then it was additional facilities being added up and later, it was the less availability of sand in the district. Only when the market opens finally, we can believe on what they are promising,” she added. Pradeep, secretary, Coastal Development Authority (CDA) said, “The project was planned in the year 2012. However, work started 11 months late because of land issues. Later, the design changed as per the demands from the fishermen and the MLA. As per the earlier design, the ground floor was a parking lot and the first floor was supposed to accommodate counters for 96 fish vendors. Later, the design was re-done to accommodate 160 fish vendors. Parking was planned outside the building. Due to various changes, the project cost increased to around Rs 32 lakh and we are working to get an MP or an MLA to help with the additional funding of the project.” Sarala, a fisherwomen at Beedinagudde said, “As it is not the central part of the city, our customers find it difficult to come to Beedinagudde, which adversely affects the sales. During the monsoon, availability of fish is less due to which the rate will be more and business is affected largely. Survival becomes difficult for us in such times. I hope we shift to the new market as soon as possible.”
2016 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.