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Fruit and vegetable market a picture of neglect

Fruit and vegetable market a picture of neglect

FAISALABAD: Ensuring clean environment at the Fruit and Vegetables Market, Ghulam Mohammadabad, doesn’t seem to be among priorities of the municipal corporation as it presents a picture of neglect with no cleanliness arrangements and foul smell emitting from the heaps of garbage of rotten vegetables and fruits. Besides, there are no security arrangements for the visitors.

The traders and vendors complain that the corporation employees occasionally visit the market for cleanliness. A private contractor is engaged in lifting garbage, keeping the market clean and sewerage system updated for Rs200,000 annually.




A fruit vendor, Azeem, says the corporation employees don’t visit the market regularly for inspection that has resulted in accumulation of garbage. He says that customers sometimes refuse to purchase fruit from him finding his pushcart near the heaps of rotten fruits and vegetable. He bemoans that he does not have an alternative place to sell his products. He suggests that government should install containers and impose fine on those not using the containers to dispose of their garbage.

Noreen Uzma, visiting the market along with her husband to purchase vegetables, expresses her anger at the condition of the market.

Talking to Dawn, she says the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has launched a campaign against the eateries over poor hygienic condition. However, nothing is being done to ensure sale of fresh fruit and vegetables.

“Following surge in prices of the vegetables, I came to the market hoping that I can save some money by buying required items from here. However, being a mother how I would prefer to purchase anything from such a dirty place,” she argues.

She demands the government adopt a zero tolerance policy against the persons selling edibles in unhygienic conditions.

Moving in the market easily is impossible for the customers—pedestrians and motorists—as the vendors of different food items have encroached upon the road.

Yasir Awan, who visits the market twice a week, says encroachments on the roads and cleanliness are longstanding issues of the market. He says the municipal corporation officials must ensure removal of garbage and encroachments.

Besides, he says the fruit and vegetables washed with the polluted water are being sold in the market with impunity, complaining about the missing price list boards that were once installed at entry and exit points of the market.

Afzal Ali, a shopkeeper, expresses his apprehension that miscreants could inflict any damage to the customers as there are no security arrangements. He suggests that police should devise a strategy for security and visitors, vendors and shopkeepers.

Deputy Commissioner Salman Ghani claims that the district administration has chalking out a plan to ensure cleanliness of such markets on a regular basis and the officials of market committee and agriculture department are directly engaged in such matters. He says the Faisalabad Solid Waste Management Company officials would be given a plan for regular collection of the garbage and similarly the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) would ensure smooth functioning of sewerage.

“I will personally look after the matters of vegetables and fruit markets,” he says, admitting that the contractor engaged in the cleanliness is not doing his services efficiently.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2017

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