By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 19: Even though it has been almost three months since the Kangpokpi Women’s Market (Nute Kailhang) was inau-gurated, not a single vendor plot has been occupied till date.
On the other hand, women vendors of Khurai Lamlong Keithel and Kongba Keithel have been facing severe difficulties after the existing market sheds were dismantled in haste to make rooms for new market sheds.
Although the old market sheds were dismantled two years back, construction works of new market sheds are yet to take off. Moreover, temporary market sheds constructed as a temporary arrangement, have been causing traffic snarls as well as health hazards to vendors as they were constructed very close to highways.
The Kangpokpi Women’s Market complex was inaugurated by Chief Minister N Biren on October 19 last year. Although it has been three months, not a single vendor is seen selling any merchandise within the splendid new market complex which was constructed at the cost of Rs 10 crore.
On the other hand, wom-en vendors of busy Kongba Keithel and Khurai Lam-long Keithel have been plying their trades on road sides and temporary market sheds for the past two years. The women vendors have sought immediate attention of the Government to begin construction of new market sheds immediately.
Khurai Lamlong Keithel is the biggest and busiest market in Imphal East. Its market sheds were dismantled after they were partially damaged by earthquake on January 4, 2016 with a plan to build new ones.
Lamlong Keithel Meira Paibi Welfare Association secretary Ibeton said that the partially damaged market sheds were dismantled at the initiative of Khurai AC MLA L Sushildro and he promised that the market sheds would be constructed anew at the earliest.
He even promised to complete the construction work by December 2017. All arrangements were made for laying foundation stone of the new markets sheds by Chief Minister N Biren on April 29, 2017 but the Chief Minister did not turn up on the day and no foundation stone has ever been laid, Ibeton decried.
Khurai Lamlong Keithel is located within Wangkhei AC but neither the incumbent MLA nor the preceding MLA was consulted before the old market sheds were dismantled, she said.
Now, MAHUD Department has been contending that the new market sheds cannot be constructed unless they can accommodate 300 to 400 vendors but there is not enough space for constructing market sheds of such size, she continued.
She then asked whether the market construction plan would be dropped altogether on the pretext that there is not enough land/space. She then appealed to the Government to start market construction work immediately if the Government’s claim that Rs 4 crore is available for the same purpose is true.
The Government may first construct the ground floor only and it can always add more floors later, Ibeton asserted.
Kongba Keithel is another busy market in Imphal East and its old sheds were dismantled after they were damaged by the earthquake of January 4, 2016. The MAHUD Minister once announced that a modern market complex would be constructed soon in place of the dismantled sheds. However, there is no sign of constructing new market sheds although it has been almost three years since the old market sheds were dismantled. Even though a temporary market shed was constructed and women vendors have been occupying it, it is causing health hazards to the vendors as well as traffic snarls as the temporary shed is located very close to the highway.
By Our Staff Reporter