No regard for norms as Margao wholesale fish market reopens

Margao: Chaos was witnessed at the wholesale fish market in Margao on the first day after it reopened on Friday, with retailers and traders throwing the social distancing norms to the wind.

Long queues of fish-laden vehicles were seen stationed outside the market early morning, with Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials testing the fish from the vehicles before allowing the same in the market.

Sensing delay, several wholesale fish traders sold their unchecked fish to retailers and others on the road outside the market creating confusion and with utter disregard to the social distancing norms apart from causing a loss of revenue to the South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA).

When this was brought to the notice of Fisheries Minister Filipe Nery Rodrigues, he said the issue will be brought to the notice of the District Collector, South, for necessary action.

The FDA officials started testing the fish around 5.30 am in a closed room with media not allowed to check how the testing was being carried out. Contractor appointed by the SGPDA said 17 to 18 fish vehicles were allowed inside the market after the fish samples
were tested.

Chaotic scenes at the wholesale fish market drew SGPDA chairman Wilfred D’Sa and board members at the site. Upset at the manner in which the testing was carried out, he said, “We will have the office made of glass so that people are able to see how the fish is being tested.”

While the traders claimed there were no facilities at the market, the contractor pointed at the illegal sale of fish on the road outside the market. Seeing many traders selling fish illegally at the roadside, the contractor called the police at the site. However, by the time the cops arrived, many traders had already finished selling the fish.

“Margao municipal council must also act. I will write to the MMC to stop the illegal sale of fish at the roadside,” said D’Sa while also urging the police to act on the vehicles selling the fish illegally.

Meanwhile, president of the wholesale fish traders association Ibrahim Maulana complained, “There was no illumination. The rubble was dumped in the middle of the market.” [NT]