South Delhi Municipal Corporation Takes Down CR Park Fish Markets: Vendors Warned | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: The two popular fish markets in Chittaranjan Park – the capital’s “Mini Kolkata” – are facing an existential threat with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) suddenly issuing notices to vendors, questioning the legality of their operation and asking them to close their shops. This sent ripples through the residents of the settlement and the customers of these markets who come from all over town due to the variety available under one roof.
Most sellers have been operating there for several years. One of them is 72-year-old Nirmal Hazra, who arrived in Delhi in 1969. He initially assisted a vendor but soon ventured on his own, opening his own shop in No. 2 Market.
Decades later, he – like some other fish sellers in both markets – was slapped with closure notices due to the lack of “valid licenses and due to unsanitary conditions”. He recalled how he had seen the settlement grow from just 200 houses when they used to peddle their fare on bicycles. “We don’t know why the company is doing this,” he said desperately.
The fishing rigs, each having an area of ​​approximately 2.25 square feet, were constructed in 2003 by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and a list of eligible candidates was prepared by the Land and Development Office, to after which attributions were made, the sellers claim.
The Vice President of the East Bengal Displaced Person’s Association (EBDP), PK Paul, supports their claim: “Based on the L&DO list, allocations were made, depending on whether it was groceries or fish rigs. In 2006 we approached DDA and requested a refit so that the platforms could be raised and storage and hangar space provided. All fish vendors have been allocated a space in one corner of the markets. We are taken aback by these closure notices, and nothing happened despite our meeting with several officials. Paul said the DDA has also been approached and they are now exploring the legal option. “The lives of around 500 families depend on it,” he added.
While fish is the staple food of the Bengali community, these markets are the go-to place not only for locals but also for city dwellers in search of a variety of fish and seafood. fresh water.
Nirapodo Bijoli, a 64-year-old vendor at Market No. 2, is puzzled that “the rigs were fabricated by the authorities and now all of a sudden we are being told that we can no longer conduct our business.” Another fish seller, Aurobindo Das, said he was hit hard by the Corona pandemic and these notices came like a thunderclap. “Each store has at least 5-6 workers whose families depend on this business,” he said.
“Licenses are required for 10ft by 10ft stores, but the allocations we were given were twice as small. It was in 2005 that the handover officially took place. SDMC and DDA are government agencies. Why are we bullied? asked Tapan Bose, who has worked from the No. 1 market for 47 years.
SDMC officials said the department licenses meat shops that are closed and do not operate on open platforms, completely ignoring the fact that fish markets across the country are indeed run on open platforms. -open forms, whether in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore or Delhi unlike stand-alone sheep shops.
Hitting a conciliatory note, an official said: ‘The shop owners have not shared a copy of the award letter in which the place is identified as a fish market. We just ask them to prove the legality of these stores or seek help from DDA. Based on their response, we will ask SDMC HQ to make changes to the policy or authorize changes to these structures. »
The vendors have written to Lieutenant Governor, Councilor Subhash Bhadana and Assistant Commissioner, Southern Zone, asking for the regularization of these stores. They claimed to have submitted all relevant documents. “The problem is that in these documents, nowhere is it mentioned that the platforms were assigned to the sale of fish. Also, these people never got SDMC licenses,” he said. He added that even the platforms allowed for commercial activities under SDMC standards were larger in size.
“Fish and these markets are an integral part of our lives. I come to the market every other day to buy fresh produce,” said Arun Biswas, 56, wondering what the society was trying to achieve. GK-II resident Neera Basu said sellers should immediately opt for the legal option. “These vendors have been here for ages now. How come a gap has appeared after more than a decade of attribution?
Stating that being married to a Bengali man had added to his fondness for various fish dishes, another customer, Abhinay Singh, said: “It is hard to understand how the fish shops, and that too in Chittaranjan Park , receive closure notices. Isn’t that at the heart of the Bengali community?
(With contributions from Vibha Sharma)
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