Fish, vegetable vendors gherao SGPDA officials


 Hundreds of  fish and  vegetable vendors from  South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) market  on Tuesday gheraoed the member secretary of the SGPDA, Mr  Rajesh Naik and other officials in protest against the closure of a toilet at the market that has caused inconvenience to them for the last fifteen days. 
They demanded that the Sulabh toilet at the  SGPDA  and other facilities be immediately made available to the  vendors as the  SGPDA is charging them for the service.
“There is no toilet facility for us for the last 15 days. Despite the  repeated  requests to the member secretary to  provide the service, he paid no heed to it and therefore we decided to  protest today,” they added. 
The  fisherwomen cannot answer the nature’s call  in the open,’’  said  Ms  Sabastiana Cardoz.
They threatened the officials that if the toilet is not made available for them within  24 hours, they would come and protest in the office.
Speaking to this daily, after the protest, Ms Cardoz said that they were paying ` 2 each time they paid visit to the toilet and now, the  member secretary says he has no money to maintain the toilet.”
“This is injustice to us,’’ they shouted. On the other hand, the member secretary, Mr Naik said that the toilet has been closed  for  want of  repairs.
“Of late it was observed that fittings were beyond repairs and needed to be replaced. Hence, the quotations were invited and the work was  tendered. The toilet will be made available to the vendors by  Thursday,’’ he assured the agitating fish vendors.
He also said that as these vendors refused to pay during the last two months,  the officials could not make up for the maintenance cost. 
“The income from these vendors is just ` 25, 000, whereas the expenditure is  five times more.  If they agree to pay proposed ` 20 per day, better services can be provided to them,’’ he further added. 
Interestingly,  in the evening,  the toilet was opened  for the ease of these  fish and  vegetable vendors, but there was no water available  at the toilet.  
“The member secretary assured to bring in a water tanker,’’ the vendors  informed, but till late in the evening such water facility was not provided.  [NT]