India’s first floating market is set to open for public in January 2018, in Kolkata. The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the market, which has been designed along the lines of floating markets seen in Bangkok.

A water body in Patuli area was transformed into the floating market by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) in collaboration with the municipal corporation. It will house over 200 shops. The market is 500 meters long and 60 meters wide, and will have no entry fee. Around Rs 10 crore has been spent to develop the water body.

The market will be divided into four clusters — vegetables, grocery, fish and meat. There will walkways on the water body, which will be used by people to reach these clusters and there will be boats on each side of these walkways which will sell goods. These boats will be the floating shops in the market. In India, there is no floating market. The one you see at Kashmir’s Dal Lake is an unorganised market where individual sellers reach out to customers in houseboats. This will be the country’s first floating market and the third in Asia. The minister was looking for a place to set this up. The KMDA along with the KMC took the initiative to set up the market,” councillor of Ward 110 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).The market will be divide into four sections—fish, meat, grocery and vegetable. The walkways on the water body will help people reach these sections, and there will be floating boat shops on each sides of these walkways that would be used to sell goods. Reportedly, shopkeepers who were evicted from the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass area due to road widening will be rehabilitated in the floating market.

These water bodies work as natural drainage systems. In monsoon, rain water used to accumulate here. Now we have revamped the drainage system. We will install aerator machines in the water body to remove the organic waste. We will also cultivate a type of fish in the water body which will consume the inorganic and bio-degradable waste. In addition, our workers will be there to remove plastic bags and other types of waste.