The new market, that completed it's shifting from the old one at Hamriya on July 15, includes an administrative block and wholesale and retail markets. The wholesale market comprises seven blocks consisting a total of 284 outlets and the retail section comprises four blocks consisting 150 vegetable, meat and fish outlets.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, several traders said they were still awaiting a whole range of facilities which they had been promised. But there was no hope in sight.
Says A. Mannan, who has been selling fruits and vegetables in the retail section for the past 15 years, "The first thing we need here is water. We have been provided with water which is very hot. And if we need cold drinking water, we have to buy a bottle for Dh2 and for the four people that are working at the shop, we end up spending Dh8 per day. We are not even earning this much."
Besides, there is no store to keep the day's leftover goods, which are finally wasted by the day ends, he adds.
Citing another major problem, the traders said, "The biggest problem that we are facing here is at the residences that have been provided by the municipality." According to them, 30 to 40 of them have been put up together in small rooms.
"Our residential quarters are half an hour's walk away from the market. Besides, there is no proper lighting on the unlevelled way during the nighttime. No supermarket, no mosque, no hospital, no laundry and not even a saloon nearby," they complained.
According to the group, there was no proper transport also available to cart them from the residence to their workplace.
"It happens so that everybody is off from the market at the same time, so we all need to go change and cook at the same time and there are not enough kitchens (four kitchens for 50 people) for all of us to cook and eat after a long day, so there are always misunderstandings that take place. At the Hamriya market, we had the choice of choosing our own residence. Therefore we were staying comfortably," said many of them in unison.
Says Rehman Ali, "On several occasions, we have also been looted on our way from our quarters to the supermarket located at the market during the night." On registering our complaints with the administration, we have been told to wait or to take them to some other person, they say.
Though Bangladeshis rule the roost, traders from India and Pakistan also make up a major portion in the retail market.
A group of regular customers, who had come all the way to shop from Sharjah, also complained that shopping was an easy affair at the older Hamriya market as everything was easily available under one roof. "We now have to visit separate market blocks for vegetables and fruits and fish and meat. This is time-consuming and very tiring," they said.
On the other hand, many of the traders also said that there was no affect on the sales, except during the very first days.
The Dh153 million new market has a modern design and is equipped with the latest facilities. The market is designed to meet the requirements of the emirate's vegetables and fruits trade till 2012, the move being a part of the speedy development process-taking place in Dubai.
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