A market that floats, in KOLKATA

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

Development is the other face of the coin of destruction. For something to develop, the prior thing / notion / thought has to be destroyed. Where at one front we say development is building new things and ideas, development also means the replacement of the past.

Talking of development and destruction and rehabilitation, Decision to shift the market on the EM Bypass was taken by the KMDA three years back so that the portion of the road could be widened. The Eastern Metropolitan Bypass or simply E.M. Bypass, is a major road on the east side of Kolkata that connects Bidhannagar on the northeast to southern parts (Rajpur Sonarpur) of Kolkata. It was designed like a bypass or beltway on the eastern side of Kolkata to lessen the perennial traffic congestion on the entire stretch of Gariahat Road.

The sellers who were depended on this market area for their livelihood, suffered from this development. "There are many sellers who have been displaced because of the widening programme of the EM Bypass taken up at Patuli area near Garia. Our principal idea is to rehabilitate those who were having their business at the Baishnabghata-Patuli market on the EM Bypass to the floating market," a senior official of the KMDA.

And as a rehabilitation of the sellers, The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) will be setting up the first floating market of the state in the southern fringes of the city to help vendors who were displaced during widening of EM Bypass.

floating market is a market where goods are sold from boats. Originating in times and places where water transport played an important role in daily life, most floating markets operating today mainly serve as tourist attractions, and are chiefly found in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Not to be mentioned, these destinations are a hub of economic advancements for the country.


Nearly INR, 9 crore would be invested for the market, which will be set up on a water body near Patuli. The market will have 114 boats with stalls selling vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, cereals, rice, edible oils and tea, according to a KMDA official. This market will run for the entire span of the day for 24 hours.

India already has such markets floating on the Dal Lake of Srinagar. The South- Eastern countries like Vietnam, Thailand are well known for such markets.

By official announcements, the KMDA has already bought 32 and the remaining of the 114 boats will arrive in the near future.

Each boat measuring over 10 ft in length will be specially designed and brightly painted, similar to those in Patayas floating markets, with the capacity and space for two stalls.

The KMDA, which is planning to have a foot overbridge across the EM Bypass to the market, has created manicured lawns and gardens on the banks of the water body where grocery shops as well as Sulabh toilets would be situated, he said.

Over 200 hawkers would be rehabilitated in the market."Once, during my visit to Thailand I had seen such floating markets there. Seeing them we had planned to come up with one in the city. This market will not be like those in Thailand and Indonesia," Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim said.

"This will like the ordinary markets we have. The only difference will be that the shops will be on floating boats. I am hopeful that this market will bring tourists to the city," he said.

Such markets will come up in other places in the state as well, the minister added.

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