Ottapalam: Vaniyamkulam cattle market, one of the largest livestock markets in the state, is in a pathetic state with knee-deep slush and odour of waste. Both cattle and people struggle here to spend a day.
As the rain intensified recently, the market has turned into a puddle. The rain water mixed with cow dung and hay has formed into mushy waste which produces intense odour. Though crores of rupees worth sales takes place in the market every week, it remains in this wretched state unnoticed by the authorities.
There are no means to clear the waste from the market. Once rain pours down, the waste flows to the Kothakurussy road nearby. This causes trouble to the passers-by also.
Apart from Kerala, livestock is brought to Vaniyamkulam every week from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states as well. The merchants said that Rs 20 is charged per cattle. But neither the contractors nor Vaniyamkulam panchayat authorities take interest to arrange better facilities here.
Even a water tap is not available to wash the dirt from their body. If anyone wants to clean themselves, they have to depend on the tap on the compound of a private person who charges Rs 10 for it. The merchants and the cattle suffer this tragic conditions for the past two years.
The panchayat had come forward with a mega project worth Rs 50 crore to renovate the livestock market. But it ended as no funds were allotted by the state and central governments. They had also designed another project worth Rs 15 lakh to renovate the south portion of the market. But this also is yet to be fulfilled.
Vaniyamkulam panchayat vice president K. Bhaskaran said that the project for concreting and waste management in the market has been approved and the works will start within two months. The panchayat has allotted Rs 15 lakh for renovation, he added.
All Kerala Cattle Merchants Association state secretary Youssef Appakkattil said that no basic facilities are available in the market. People cannot enter the market due to slush. If the panchayat did not take action to remove slush, sales will be postponed indefinitely, he added.