The Bombay High Court had recently questioned the BMC for running a wholesale fish market in a building in a disastrous condition in South Mumbai’s Crawford Market. In the light of it, the BMC presented its course of action to shift the traders. On the petition it filed on Monday, the civic authority mentioned that no trader will be allowed to enter the premise of the wholesale Chhatrapati Shivaji Fish Market from July 11. The authority plans to demolish and then reconstruct the whole building.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni on July 6 disposed of a PIL filed by Asagar Abbas Shaikh, a fish merchant, through advocates Rajiv Narula and MA Khan, seeking to direct BMC to temporarily shift the market to Airoli. The plea said that while the upper floors of the building were demolished in 2016, the fish market continued to operate. On June 30, the bench had noted that the civic body will have to take full responsibility if its ceiling collapses resulting in loss of lives.
On Monday, Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare, appearing on behalf of BMC, said, “Till such time that trading activity is allowed to resume at the fish market after it is demolished and reconstructed, the traders would be at liberty to trade at Airoli Octroi Naka plot or in the other markets of the corporation as per the availability. The immediate future plan is for permitting trade in a temporary ground floor shed, which will be constructed after demolition of the existing building.”
However, advocates Vaibhav Sugdare and Amit Potnis representing the Mumbai Fresh Fish Dealers Association raised an objection saying that its members are aggrieved by BMC’s decision to shift them to a market which is 40 kilometers away and sought an alternate space in the same area.