The historic Champakkara market, one of the busiest and the oldest in the city, is expected to get a face lift with the progress of the Kochi Metro Rail project works and as the urban authorities start work on turning Kochi into a smart city. The market has been sought to be rebuilt by successive Corporation of Cochin councils but nothing has gotten off the block so far owing to various reasons. A veteran fish trader at Champakkara, who has been involved in negotiations with the authorities for improving the facilities at the market, said the Kochi Metro Rail authorities had expressed optimism about the Champakkara market. Little more land He said acquisition of a little more land close to the Champakkara market and relocating the buildings that would be razed for the Kochi Metro Rail project would be the ideal way to improve the conditions. He said the market had an ideal location with road on one side and the backwaters on the other three sides, which gave water vessels access to the market. The Kochi Metro Rail authorities have drawn up elaborate plans for improving water transport in and around Kochi and the Champakkara market would stand to gain from the new proposals considering its location close to the backwaters. Employment source Workers at the Champakkkra market are keen that the Corporation of Cochin authorities intervene to save the market, as it is a source of employment to hundreds of people. Around a thousand people depend directly on the market for their daily wages and hundreds of others depend on the market operations indirectly for employment. Fish workers The fish workers are optimistic that despite the Corporation of Cochin being constrained for funds, the authorities would take into consideration the significance of the market, which is one of the key links for Kochi to its commercial and business past.

2015, The Hindu