The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is taking up work to revamp the floating market at Patuli from January. The floating market, the first of its kind in the country, was inaugurated in January 2018. However, its present condition is disappointing, with most of the traders counting losses every day.
The floating market had started off with 114 boats and about 228 traders who had been relocated from the Patuli VIP Market. With sales plummeting by almost 50%, many of them have already left their new hub. TOI visited the spot on Monday and found many of the boats damaged and abandoned. The water has become stagnant and the plastic waste generated daily has accumulated on the sides of the wooden platform.
Locals said the stalls on the boats could have been planned better. “The area is quite big and customers who want to buy both vegetables and fish or meat have to walk a long way,” said a local.
“Many people come here only to have a look at the place and to spend some time with their friends and relatives. Not many come here to buy their daily vegetables and meat or fish. Vegetable sellers like us are the worst hit. The most profitable stalls are those that sell tea and fast food, like phuchka, pakoda and momo. Business has gone down and many traders have left the place. It will be good if the authorities come up with something to rejuvenate the market,” said one of the traders.
KMDA officials said the work order has been issued and the restoration will start soon. “The cost of the project been estimated at Rs 4.7 crore,” said a KMDA official.
The authorities plan to repair the damaged boats and, if required, a few of them will also be replaced. Plans are on to set up two restaurants that will float on the water body, similar to Cafe Ekante at Eco Park, officials said.
“There will be green islands and the water body will be oxidized at regular intervals to clean and purify the water,” an official said.
Besides, the surroundings of the water body surroundings will undergo beautification and amenities will be set up for both traders and customers. “We plan to set up sheds and benches on the sides of the water body for visitors,” said an official.
Source: Times of India