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India’s ‘first floating market’, with over 200 shops, to open in Kolkata next year The councillor assured that the floating market will not pose any threat to the environment, thanks to initiatives taken by KMC to safeguard the water body.
Kolkata is all set to get its first floating market along the lines of those seen in Bangkok, in the coming year. The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) in collaboration with the municipal corporation has transformed a water body in Patuli area into a one of a kind such market that will house over 200 shops. Around Rs 10 crore has been spent to develop the water body, said councillor of Ward 110 of KMC, Arup Chakraborty.
‘The Floating Market of Patuli’, which is 500 mts long and 60 mts wide, will be thrown open to the public in January next year. It will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and will have no entry fee.
“Our Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim recently visited Bangkok to attend a seminar. There he saw floating markets and decided to replicate such a market in Kolkata. In India, there is no floating market. The one you see at Kashmir’s Dal Lake is an unorganised market where individual sellers reach out to customers in houseboats. This will be the country’s first floating market and the third in Asia. The minister was looking for a place to set this up. When I came to know about his plan, I approached him and told him that there are water bodies in my ward which could be used to set up this market. He had sent KMDA officers to check the feasibility aspects of the water body. After getting a positive report, the KMDA along with the KMC took the initiative to set up the market,” Chakraborty told The Indian Express.
“The market will be divided into four clusters — vegetables, grocery, fish and meat. There will walkways on the water body, which will be used by people to reach these clusters and there will be boats on each side of these walkways which will sell goods. These boats will be the floating shops in the market,” the councillor said.
He added that shopkeepers who were evicted from the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass area due to road widening will be rehabilitated in the floating market. “The Eastern Metropolitan Bypass was turned into a six-lane road recently. As a result, some shopkeepers from one side of the road were evicted. These shopkeepers will be rehabilitated in this floating market,” he said.
The councillor assured that the floating market will not pose any threat to the environment, thanks to initiatives taken by KMC to safeguard the water body.
“These water bodies work as natural drainage systems. In monsoon, rain water used to accumulate here. Now we have revamped the drainage system. We will install aerator machines in the water body to remove the organic waste. We will also cultivate a type of fish in the water body which will consume the inorganic and bio-degradable waste. In addition, our workers will be there to remove plastic bags and other types of waste,” the councillor elaborated.