Parnashala Panchayat market tenants down shutters in protest, demand stairway

Report by: 
V SENTHIL KUMAR
RANGAT
9 Jul 2017

Near Community Health Centre at Rangat in Middle Andaman, 10 shops stand out. The reason is not that the shops sell wares that are unique, but that all of them have their shutters down. Line-up one next to other, all the ten shops constructed by Parnashala Panchayat have remained in the same position for the past two years after tenants of the shops pulled down shutters in protest claiming losses.
According to reports, all the ten shops constructed by Parnashala Panchayat have remained closed after an alternate route for the health centre was opened. Earlier, hundreds of patients and attenders used to visit the Panchayat market to purchase articles using the narrow stairway from the health centre. But after opening of the alternate entry road, patients and attenders started refraining from purchase from the market. Tenants of the market are now demanding broadening of the stairway to facilitate movement of customers to the market for sustainability of their livelihood.  
“We now pay rent regularly to the Panchayat every month, but have ceased to open the shops for fear of losses. Since the opening of the alternate route for the CHC, customers don’t visit our shops. The narrow stairway leading to our stores cause inconvenience to them for fear of fall. The situation was different earlier when attenders used to park in front of our shops and purchase necessary items. The Panchayat authorities should take immediate steps to broaden the stairway and facilitate movement of patients and attenders only after which we will be in a position to resume normal business,” said some shopkeepers speaking to EOI.
Speaking to this Correspondent, the Pradhan of Parnashala Panchayat, Ms Savini Minj informed that she has sent  several letters to the Andaman Public Works Department and Zilla Parishad with the request to broaden the stairway from the CHC to the Panchayat. “But all my efforts till date have proved futile. Construction of the stairway is crucial for the livelihood of the tenants of the market and hopefully the authorities will respond promptly to their demands,” said Ms Minj assuring to revive efforts for the welfare of the tenants.