CHENNAI: Fish lovers and fishmongers in the city might soon not have to wait in scorching heat under tarpaulin roofs to sell or buy fishes.
The Greater Chennai Corporation begins construction of modern wholesale fish market at Kotturpuram at a cost of Rs 8 crore.
According to data available with the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department, fish and fish products are sold through an estimated 96 markets spread within the city and neighbouring districts of Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.
Retail fish sellers from these markets depend on five centres in the city for wholesale trade — Chintadripet, Zam Bazaar, Patallam (Perambur), Saidapet and Vanagaram.
As the fish catch in the Chennai coastal region has come down in the recent past, fishes are brought from southern districts of Tamil Nadu and other states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Subsequently the wholesale fish rates spiked up in the State making its purchase difficult among middle and lower income groups, said Corporation officials, adding that in an attempt to resolve this, the GCC will be setting up a wholesale market in Kotturpuram which keeps a check over the prices.
“This market, which will be constructed on 10 acres of land opposite the Kotturpuram railway station on Canal Bank Road, will have 68 stalls (250 sq ft each) selling stocks of seafood from 1 am to 6 am to retailers,” said a senior Corporation official.
Officials said that the construction work which started in July is expected to be completed before the local elections (October). However with the foundation works yet to completed, a delay in inauguration of the facility is expected.
On successful completion, similar complexes will be established in various parts of the city, a GCC official added.
However, Kotturpuram residents are irked by this project fearing traffic and smell from the complex right next to St. Patrick’s School and College.
“There are three educational institutions on the narrow road (Canal Bank Street) and allowing lorries, mini-vans and fish carts will choke road traffic,” said A Raja, a resident.
However fish lovers, on the other hand, have welcomed this project. Once this facility comes up, the rates might come down and we need not travel all the way to Triplicane for buying fish, said S Kaliammal, who sells fish in and around Adyar.