Capital's fruit, vegetable market becomes a hub of problems

ISLAMABAD: The fruit and vegetable market of the federal capital, meant to provide fresh and healthy food stuff to its residents, is rather turning into a health hazardous place day by day, having multiple chronic problems.

Numerous unaddressed problems in and around the market, especially pollutant and filthy environment is seeking prompt attention of the authorities concerned in order to ensure provision of safe and healthy food item to the residents as the rotten fruits and vegetables are usually thrown on ground creating a lot of spell.

“There is no proper waste disposal management system as it is thrown here and there thus making the environment unhygienic,” said a vendor, Ali Hussain while highlighting the issue.

Moreover, the accumulated water on roads around and in the market leaking from sewerage lines is showing the lethargy of the concerned authorities who do not bother to repair them and it is further damaging the already dilapidated roads of the market.

“Since the market accommodates heavy traffic for goods transport, the roads here seek urgent attention of the authorities to avoid their further deterioration,” said a goods transport driver Sajjad Ahmed who brings vegetables to the market from Haripur district.

Sajjad also complained for insufficient parking area for the vehicles and asked for the availability of secure and reserved parking for the goods transporters and visitors who come to shop here.

The residents also complained for absence of official price lists in the market as the shopkeepers were charging the prices set by themselves.

A frequent visitor, Mansoor said, “Our claim to have one of the world’s most beautiful capitals seems to be absurd when one visits a place like Sabzi and Fruit Mandi where everything seems to be kept untidy.”

“The encroachers have made things difficult here by extending their shops and stalls on footpaths meant for pedestrians and no action is being taken against them to get things fixed,” said a shopper Salim Ahmed.

He said this congestive environment was very favorable for pick pockets who had freely established their business here and daily dozens of the visitors were being deprived of their valuables.

“We want an organized market equipped with state of the art facilities and we are even ready to pay for it,” said by another vendor Muhammad Sajid.

He also demanded the formation of a union which could protect the rights of vendors and look after the affairs of the market.

When contacted, a CDA official on the condition of anonymity said the civic body had deployed an officer at Sabzi Mandi to keep an eye over affairs of the market.

The official, however, claimed that it was not the responsibility of CDA to maintain cleanliness in the market and that it voluntarily lift garbage from the site and surroundings.

“The fruit and vegetable market is situated at such a place where cleanliness can’t be maintained all the time,” he commented.

He said the roads of the capital were being carpeted and rehabilitated. “Right now IJP road and some roads of G-Sectors are being carpeted and soon the roads of fruit and vegetable market will also be revamped,” he informed.

The official said all the administrative issues of the market like security etc fall under the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).



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