A new design for the state-of-the-art fish market proposed along Marina Loop Road is expected to be finalized shortly. The new design will incorporate various aspects including ample parking for at least 100 vehicles, water supply, a modern waste management facility and smart storage spaces for retail fish vendors.
Following the instructions of the Madras High Court and the advice of Minister of Municipal Administration KN Nehru, Commissioner of the Greater Chennai Corporation Gagandeep Singh Bedi and Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal inspected the Marina Loop Road on Sunday, to explore the possibility of moving the fish sellers to a new market near the Santhome church.
During the first meetings with the fishermen a few years ago, the officials of the Corporation had said that the new fish market would be a temporary structure made of tin sheets over an area of two acres, to be modernized later.
Fish vendors along the stretch from Light House to Srinivasapuram opposed the project as they were not convinced of its usefulness and demanded shops along the Marina Loop Road without any displacement.
After the Madras High Court ordered the Company and the police to evict the fish sellers, the civic body began exploring options to convince the fish sellers by changing the design of the proposed market, making it more attractive to fish sellers as well as customers.
Suggestions were solicited from experts and officials on innovative designs for the proposed fish market. The final market design is expected to be approved after state government approval. A permit from the coastal regulation zone is also required.
Some experts have suggested a state-of-the-art retail space with adequate water supply, storage facility and waste management system for each supplier.
On Sunday, city officials led by Mr Bedi proposed a design with parking space for at least 100 vehicles in the proposed fish market.
Some experts have suggested the development of a modern, air-conditioned fish market, similar to coastal cities such as Sydney and Dubai, with space for the 350 fish sellers who will be moved from the Marina Loop Road. But the Company rejected the proposal for an air-conditioned fish market.
“We will consult with the Fisheries Department on designs. We told them today to do the pictures. We don’t want to set up an air-conditioned market right now. The open skylight will make the market odorless. It is not the richest fishermen who will have their shops there. It will be the local fishermen. Let’s see. Of course, we will also consult with the community, ”said an official from the Corporation.
Suggestions were made to explore the possibility of securing additional land near the two hectare area of the TNSCB in order to develop a better designed market. A final decision is expected to be made shortly.