KARACHI, July 29: The New Sabzi Mandi — the brainchild of the Asian Development Bank — looks gross with dumps of filth, rotten fruits and vegetables lying everywhere and its roads flooded by rainwater.
Pools of water at some places had a depth between one to two feet while accumulations of mud could be seen around auction sheds.
The condition of roads, where banks are located opposite to the market committee’s administrative block is not any different from the area where the sheds are located. The area is almost out of bounds for a pedestrian and if immediate steps are not taken to drain the rainwater out, the water may enter the premises of banks.
Dumps of rotting stuffs on the road make the area around vegetable sheds, located in the “C” block of the market, unmotorable and at times bogging down vehicles trying to unload the farm produce there.
Mud could be seen all around gate number one, its parking area as well as the tract between shed number one and three.
Pools of water accumulated in the fruit market section, which starts from gate number two, reach between a depth of one-and-a- half feet to two feet, inundating the police post there.
Stink permeated everywhere in the parking lot with fruits, leaves and other waste rotting in pools of rainwater.
Garbage also littered in banana sheds located in the fruit section (B-1) and along the auction centre in the cold storage area, making it difficult for the buyers to move around.
The sewage drain was choked and the overflowing water had mixed with the rainwater, creating an unhygienic atmosphere.
The fruit and vegetable wholesalers faced an unsavoury situation with interruptions in power and water supplies.
Convenor of the Wholesale Fresh Fruit Merchants and Growers Association told Dawn complained that those who were directly drawing electricity from transformers were assured uninterrupted power supply while those with legal connections suffered. He blamed the market committee for the success of the Kunda system.
Haji Javed said that the power supply problem could not be solved until power cables were laid underground.
Terming the water supply situation to the New Sabzi Mandi miserable, he said that the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board had discontinued water supply to the market since last month because of non-payment of dues by the market committee, adding that the bill amounted to Rs5.4 million.
He also blamed the market committee for flourishing trade of water tankers, saying that water, meant for consumers at the Sabzi Mandi, was being supplied elsewhere.
He said that with the passage of time, the situation in the Sabzi Mandi was becoming more complicated as no one appeared to be serious about straightening its affairs, adding that everyone, who had been accused of corruption in the Ombudsman’s report, had been re-posted. He blamed these officials for the increasing illegal allotments in the fruit and vegetable market.
Referring to the market’s original layout plan, he said that the original plan had envisaged only 1,764 shops and auction sheds, which were later increased to 4,072 in 1996 in the revised plan. The facilities in the Mandi were raised to 4,348 in the plan submitted to the ombudsman as well as the Supreme Court.
“The latest plan, which has been submitted to the city government for approval, is the 12th plan in succession, showing more than 6,000 shops and sheds,” he said.
He said that only last month, notices had been issued after the KBCA had set up its camp office there to remove encroachments and illegal constructions.