New Sabzi Mandi traders demand compensation

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KARACHI: Traders and wholesalers of New Sabzi Mandi at Super Highway have demanded compensation from the government for the loss of vegetables and shops in a fire a day earlier. “Compensation is essential for the survival of the affected traders and revival of destroyed parts of the market,” Haji Shahjahan, president of New Sabzi Mandi, said, adding that nothing was insured.

Market associations put the losses caused by the fire in the range of Rs200 million to Rs1 billion, though there are available no accurate estimates.

Shahjahan estimated cumulative losses close to Rs1 billion. “Losses were low because fire engulfed only the remaining of what were sold. He said that this was the biggest fire that the market has ever caught since its coming into being. He said that it was not in practice of traders to get their inventories and property insured. “The insurance of shops is impossible as they are yet to be allotted after 13 years of shift of the vegetable market from the old sabzi mandi in the middle of the city.”

Asif Ahmed, a former vice chairman of the market committee, said that losses may be standing somewhere between Rs200 million to Rs300 million.

He reported that nearly 1,100 shops, thousands kilograms of vegetables, empty bags and wooden boxes caught fire a day earlier (Wednesday). “12 sheds (having 90 shops each) have been completely destroyed. There are about 50 to 60 sheds in total in the market.”

He demanded for compensation from the government. “If the government does not come forward to help them, it will become difficult for them to survive under the given circumstances.”

None of the government officials have contacted the affected traders and market representatives even after 30 hours of the incident, said both the persons in the evening.

Shahjahan said that stocks of potato and tomato had major shares in vegetables that caught fire in back part of the market. Fire has converted empty bags and wooden boxes into ash and shops into trash. “I assume it is a terror attack.” The market resumed approximately 30 percent of business activities on Thursday.


Courtesy: The News

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