Going to the ‘‘Wet Market”

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Vendors sell vegetables and fruits at a bazaar in Tatkon market.

By Lokethar

One has to go to the “Wet Market” meaning the Municipal Market Building selling fish and prawns, meat, poultry , vegetables etc. for cooking the daily meals. Although these days, thanks to the refrigerator (and the fairly regular electricity supply) one needs to go to the “Wet Market” every three or four days only. But going to the Market during the rainy season to say the least, is somewhat of an “ordeal”. First the streets around the Municipal market building is wet and often dirty, with “street sellers” lining either side of the streets. It is a literally “Wet Market”. There is much buying of the commodities and the street is so crowded that walking is very difficult to the Municipal Market building itself. Once in the building, if one goes early, some poultry, meat/ fish and vegetables may be available. But if one goes in the afternoon, then the meat and fish sellers often are closed for business. But the strange fact is that the “street market” is still operating. In fact some of the sellers of the Municipal Market have their wares sold by proxies on the street market. Now isn’t that a strange situation? Why do most people, including maids and cooks, prefer to do daily marketing from “street market”?
They may say that the prices are lower. But then so are the “Quality” of many items sold. Besides what is more than obvious is the unhygienic conditions in which the articles are displayed and sold. It seems the sellers have to pay some money to don’t know who, for the “place” they display and sell their wares on. The dirty water on the street splashed by passing carts/cyclists/ pedestrians (no cars can enter) on to the wares are a health risk. But people seem not to be bothered by it. I suppose our people need more “Civics” and “Hygiene” lessons for their own good. Perhaps four storied buildings with better ventilation and natural lighting with “Lifts” installed, should be built in place of the present run down four storied market buildings. It will be a boon to the market going public including the elderly and the disabled. The municipal markets of the future may have to adopt the design of the muper markets, with the ground floors reserved for “Wet Items” such as fish, prawns, poultry, meat, etc. and with piped water for each stall and good drainage for waste water and effluences disposal. Second floors could be devoted to Rice, Pulses and Beans, Onions, Garlic, Chillies, Potatoes etc. as well as Spices and Condiments required for the kitchen. The Third Floor may be devoted to tinned provisions and packed/ canned goods including kitchen accessories. The fourth floor could be reserved for food stalls selling eatables, beverages and snacks. Perhaps the professional designer could suggest a better floor plan. Most important feature would be that the whole market is to be open for business from early morning to late evening. Another requirement is that no “street market” should be allowed in its vicinity. With Charity to all and Malice to none.

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