KOCHI: The fire that completely gutted ten vegetable stalls at the Ernakulam Market on Wednesday night has inflicted damage to the tune of Rs. 15 lakh on account of loss of vegetables alone, the affected stall owners have said.
�One of the stalls had 10 tonnes of big onions and this alone has caused a loss of about Rs. 1.20 lakh, said N.H. Shameed, general secretary of the Ernakulam Market Stalls Association, whose stall was among those destroyed in the fire.
According to a rough estimate, the total loss, including the damage to the buildings, stood at about Rs. 40 lakh. Stalls numbered from 82 to 91 to the southern side of the market were the ones destroyed in a fire that broke out around 10.30 p.m. reportedly owing to a short circuit.
Among the ten stalls gutted, three were retail stalls and the remaining were wholesale ones. Each stall was of about 300 sq.ft. Deputy Mayor C.K. Manisankar, and councillors Lino Jacob, Winny Abraham, and David Parampithara visited the site on Thursday.
The building in which the stalls were operating belonged to the Kochi Corporation.
Mr. Manisankar assured the traders that steps for the maintenance of the building would be done on a war footing and procedures like floating tenders would be done away with to avoid any delay. Fort Kochi Revenue Divisional Officer Mohandas Pillai has been entrusted with assessing the loss sustained by the traders.