Pune: Although three months have passed after creating a special facility for chicken and meat shop vendors at Chhatrapati Shivaji Market in Camp, the adamant vendors have still not shifted from the place causing nearly 50 per cent of business loss to the vegetable vendors and immense inconvenience to the customers who come here to buy vegetables.
This market is 126-year-old and the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) had decided to renovate and upgrade the structure in January 2018. The then PCB president Brigadier Rajiv Sethi had said that all sheds would be changed, water distribution lines would be replaced, loading and unloading of goods which was being carried out in unhygienic surroundings would be also taken care of, vegetable vendors would have a separate facility and meat and chicken shops would have a separate area to run their businesses. The area outside the market which is encroached upon will be also cleared.
After a spot visit, it was revealed that most of the work has been done. As said by the president, a separate facility for the meat and chicken shops has also been constructed three months ago but yet the vendors have not shifted to the new facility.
The chicken and meat shop vendors say that they have not been directed by the PCB to move to the newly-constructed shelter.
Sagar Wanjale, a vegetable vendor in the market, said, “We are facing a major loss in our business due to the chicken and meat shops as people avoid coming to the market. Similarly, the illegal vendors who run their business outside the market is another reason for the losses.”
Jairaj Wanjale, a vegetable vendor in the market, said, “Mostly, the people from Gujarati and Sindhi community used to come to the market to buy vegetables. And now they too have stopped coming because of the meat and chicken shops, as the place becomes dirty and the bad odour puts off many.”
Nitin Darode, another vegetable vendor said, “Sethi had promised us that as soon as the new facility will be made, the chicken and meat shops will be shifted. But it has been three months and nothing has happened so far. We continue to lose our customers. Everything, as promised by the president, is taken care of but only this thing is worrying us.”
Priyanka Shrigiri, vice president of PCB, said, “There are almost 13 illegal meat and chicken shops in the market. We will remove them, auction their shops and then the legal ones will be shifted to the new facility. This will take around a month. The anti-encroachment drive will be held in a rigorous way on the vegetable vendors running their business outside the market.”
“Many vegetable vendors have closed down their shops a few months ago because they were facing major financial crises. There were 250 vegetable vendors but today there are only 35 vegetable vendors. We pay electricity, water charges and various taxes to the Cantonment Board and still, there has been no actions against the illegal vegetable vendors running the business outside the market,” said a vegetable vendor.