KOCHI: The proposal to relocate the Kaloor market situated at the choc-a-bloc Deshabhimani Junction continues to remain on paper, over 20 years on since it was first mooted. This is despite the slew of development programmes implemented within the city limits and soft-pedalling by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has been blamed for the proposal hanging fire. Under the plan, the market was to be relocated to the GCDA shopping complex near Manappattiparambu.
For a brief period though, the market was indeed moved to the GCDA complex almost 12 years ago. However, following stiff opposition from traders allotted space at the GCDA shopping complex, who alleged lack of infrastructure facilities, the market was relocated to Deshabhimani Junction. However, the private market operating near St Antony’s Church at Kaloor is so congested it has become virtually impossible for people to even enter the market. During peak hours, the stretch here witnesses traffic snarls due to the haphazard parking of vehicles in front of the market.
The customers, who visit the market do not have any option other than to park their vehicles by the roadside. This poses problems to the pedestrians too. “ The traders at the existing market opposite the Deshabhimani bus stop near Kaloor are not willing to relocate to the new facility. Lack of accessibility is one of the reasons for their reluctance,” said ward councillor M G Aristotle. The congestion has led to a sharp drop in the number of shops operating in the market, with even entry proving difficult, he said.
Though the construction of the market complex got over in 2001, the facilities were not looked after properly. Not only this, the renovation works at the newly constructed building left a lot to be desired. “The GCDA could have completed the renovation works within two years but they have not taken any action till now,” said GCDA’s former chairman N Venugopal. The building has remained unoccupied for more than two years now and they have not taken any steps for its further development, he said.
Former Mayor Tony Chammany said joint efforts involving the civic body and the GCDA can indeed help resolve the issue. “The joint efforts of the Corporation and the GCDA will solve the issue relating to the market. Bilateral talks must be held with the traders to get them to move into new premises,” he said.
GCDA C N Mohanan said the authority has not dropped the plan and it is also planning to invite tenders from private parties for the renovation of the shopping complex.