RAK TRADERS WORRIED OVER DEMOLITION OF OLD BUILDING

RAS AL KHAIMAH —Retailers as well as wholesalers in Al Maireed Fish Market are faced with a bleak future with the RAK Municipality (RM) gearing up to demolish the old building, and shifting the market to the new facility just a few metres away.

By Sadiq A. Salam

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Published: Wed 2 Nov 2005, 12:54 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:22 PM

"We heard that the municipality is planning to cut power and water supply from the old building as the first step towards demolition, though the new market building may take another six months to be completed," a retailer told Khaleej Times on condition of anonymity.

"Six months is a long time and we don't know what to do during this period," said another trader, who was on the verge of tears.

The market, located in Al Maireed area, has 32 stalls selling fish, six shops selling vegetables and fruits, shaded area for fish cleaning, besides administrative offices. The traders have urged the municipal authorities to arrange some makeshift shops for them to carry on their business during the transitional period.

"Freezing our activities for such a long period will cause us enormous financial losses and will affect the fishing industry in the emirate," a trader said. Mubarek Al Shamsi, Director General of RM, told Khaleej Times: "We do not understand why the traders in the old market are so worried when we have made all arrangements for them to carry on with their business during the transition."

Stating that the municipality was planning to build make-shift shaded kiosks for both fish and vegetable traders next to the old market, he said : "We will not disconnect power or water from the old building till the temporary shops are ready for operations."

The new markets, which will be operational within a few months, will house 46 fish, 16 vegetables, six poultry and meats shop besides administrative offices. "The building has a state-of-the-art central air-conditioning system, lighting, ventilation and fire-fighting systems," Al Shamsi said, adding that the old building mars the beauty of the area, besides posing health hazards. "The civic body has directed owners of shops surrounding the old market to upgrade the architectural designs of their buildings to ensure that the entire area gets a facelift and is in harmony with the general design. The old building has no proper waste disposal facility and fishermen and wholesale traders used to auction their catch under very unhygienic conditions," he said.

"Keeping in mind the importance of protecting environment besides ensuring public health, we have designated a special area for fish cleaning and waste disposal with highly efficient system in the new market," he added.


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