A plan to shift the vegetable, fish and cattle markets from the Doha Central Market in the Mesaimeer-Mamoura area to three locations in Wakrah, Sailiyah and Umm Slal Ali in a few months may cause inconvenience to both the customers as well as retailers, it is felt.
Residents who regularly visit the Central Market said the shifting would lead to considerable difficulties.
"It would not only compound our woes but also make things more expensive as one needs to go to three different places to buy vegetables, meat and fish," said a restaurant operator who has three outlets in Doha.
He said the customers would only go to a place where all their needs could be effectively met. "If one has to go to three different places in diametrically opposite directions for bulk purchases, does one stand to gain anything?" asked the restaurateur.
At the Central Market, the biggest advantage for customers, especially those buying in bulk quantities, is the availability all three items in the same location.
Inquiries reveal that work at the fish market in Umm Slal is almost complete and may be ready by April. There are about 20 stalls at the new market, it is learnt.
Reacting to the development, stall owners at the Central Market said the plans to move the market to different locations would hit their businesses hard.
"Even those requiring goods in large quantities like hoteliers would be forced to make their purchases at the fish and meat outlets in malls and major shopping centres," said an Indian stall operator at the Central Market.
Usually the retail prices at the fish and meat stalls at the Central Market are lower than those at malls and hypermarkets.