People who visit the local vegetable market to buy fresh vegetables and fruits are welcomed by heaps of garbage littered everywhere with flies hovering over them. Sullage makes the compound even more stinking and the situation turns uglier in rainy days as water finds no outlet. Traders are forced to work in unhygienic surroundings, though they themselves are responsible to a great extent for the mess. The left out vegetables rot and pose a threat to people's health but the market committee authorities prefer to look the other way.
It may be noted that the vegetable market is a few metre from the Sunder Nagar locality where diarrhoea had broken out a few days ago. Insanitary conditions are prevailing in the market for years but no official has ever cared to find a solution. The market does not have a proper drainage system, due to which water keeps stagnating here and there. The few toilets the market has, too are in a bad condition.
The market committee authorities claim that clearing of garbage is undertaken every day but at no point of time the compound is free of filth. Retail vendors set their push carts or 'rehris' right in the middle of the slush. Street food is also sold in the same polluted environment.
District Mandi Board officer (DMO) Raj Kumar Basra said the problem had aggravated recently due to blockage of sewerage. "The old sewerage is unable to take increased load so it is being upgraded. The estimate is ready and the public health wing of the department will soon take up the work," the DMO said.
Consumers as well as the traders rue the market committee's apathy. "We have brought the matter to the notice of authorities concerned a number of times but to no avail," a commission agent said.
"The government gets income worth crores from the vegetable market, yet it shies away from providing basic amenities on the premises," said Jai Gopal Dhiman, president of Bharat Jagao Andolan.
"Food items are being sold in utterly unhygienic conditions to the consumers, which is a violation of the Food Safety Act but the authorities concerned are doing nothing," he added, appealing to the administration to get the market fogged to prevent spread of diseases.