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]