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Soon feel of Bangkok in Kolkata’s ‘eco-friendly’ floating market

Kolkata: By the end of January, 2018, India will have its own floating market like the one in Bangkok. To make the floating market in Patuli, Kolkata even better, apart from being the first of its kind, the authorities are also trying their best to keep it eco-friendly.

An entire lake spanning 24000 square feet is all set to be transformed into a floating market in January 2017. Patuli floating market, touted as the first floating market of India and Asia’s third, not just promises to offer a new shopping experience but also has a plan to contain the water pollution of the lake.

This floating market will be having four sections or clusters. Each dedicated to veggies, groceries, fish and meat. It in a way increases the risk of the lake to be contaminated by the continuous disposal of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

“We have taken environmental concerns into account while taking the decision to convert the lake into a floating market,” told councillor of Ward 110 of KMC, Arup Chakraborty to eNewsroom. On being asked, what measures the Kolkata Municipal Corporation will be taking to address the concern, he revealed, “Proper drainage system has been made to keep the lake healthy. We will be installing a lake aerator to pump in oxygen into the lake, to allow fast decomposition of organic waste. We will also be cultivating certain fishes which will inorganic and biodegradable waste. We also have recruited a bunch of workers to scavenge the plastic wastes that would be dumped into the lake.”

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Kashmir does has its Shikaras on which some sell flowers and vegetables from their boats in its famous Dal Lake, but there is no organized market in Dal Lake or anywhere in India on the lines of the famous floating market of Bangkok.

Kolkata’s floating market will also be having a café, fountains, seats, a jogger’s track and even a light and sound show in the evening. Interestingly, the idea to have a floating market in Kolkata came to Firhad Hakim, the Urban Development Minister and Municipal Affairs Minister was visiting Bangkok. The idea seemed feasible to the government which was already mulling over rehabilitation of vendors of Baishnabghata market, who were to be evicted due to expansion of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

The proposed market will have 114 specially designed boats anchored in the lake. Ramps or aisles leading to these boats have been designed for the shoppers to reach these boats and make their purchases. Each boat has a storage pit to store their goods.

The shopkeepers being rehabilitated here are happy and hopeful of witnessing a rise in their sale. “We are very happy on being shifted to this new market. This new concept might increase our customers as people may come from far off places will come to see this different market,” said by a vegetable seller, Satish Brahma.

The boats have been designed in Bholguri area of Bengal’s Hoogly district. And have been transported to Patuli via engine vans. With the inaugural date approaching closer, the labours are burning their midnight oil. Once ready, this latest attraction of Bengal will be inaugurated by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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