BHUBANESWAR: At a time when the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to renovate the crowded Unit 1 market, also known as the Rajdhani Haat, a section of daily vendors on Sunday alleged apathy by the civic body.
They alleged that even as they continue to pay the daily tax of ` 1 to the civic body, they are not being provided with receipts for the same for the last three to four years. The vendors said although they have been bringing this to the notice of the BMC frequently, no step has been taken so far.
The Unit I daily market houses as many as 1,440 kiosks of which, 1,053 belong to original beneficiaries and 387 are daily vendors who pay ` 1 as tax to the BMC daily. Of these 387 vendors, 124 are allegedly not being given receipts against their daily payment of tax. Under the aegis of Rajdhani Dainik Haat Byabasayee Sangha, the vendors said as a result of this, they would be deprived of space as they do not have tickets to prove their occupancy in the market after it is renovated.
The BMC has recently decided to convert this congested market into a swanky four-storey shopping complex. The BMC plans to build around 1,500 shops in the proposed complex and its ground floor would have a mega parking space with a capacity to accommodate 2,000 two-wheelers and 1,000 cars.
The civic body had earlier undertaken a survey of vendors in the market. “The existing 1,053 traders, who have been allotted permanent space in the existing market, and the daily vendors doing business for the past 40 years, will be accommodated in the complex,” Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena had said.
Under these circumstances, 124 daily vendors fear that unless they produce the tickets to civic body authorities they would be denied space in the new market complex.
At a press conference, secretary of the Sangha Gayadhar Swain demanded a probe into the case and provision of tickets to the vendors at the earliest. “The BMC officials concerned in their previous survey of the market must have missed out on the 124 daily vendors which is why they are not being given tickets even as tax is collected from them,” said Swain. He also demanded that the daily vendors be categorised as monthly vendors which would help in generation of more revenue. Sources said business transactions of over ` 70 lakh per annum is made in the market.
The Unit 1 market was inaugurated on April 11, 1958. The General Administration Department looked after the complex from 1962 up to October 9, 1984, and the BMC took over from the department on October 10, 1984.