BANGALORE: A resident of Cox Town Market, Rajani Kumar has come to buy vegetables at this market at 10 am in the morning. However, she has one big grouse, and she says, “there is no place for the customers to stand, the continuous movement of vehicles not only makes it difficult for us to do our shopping but also raises serious questions on pedestrian safety. I wonder when will the authorities wake up and become serious about their own rules regarding footpath encroachment.”
About six years back, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) took over a market area comprising 3000 sq feet to build a BBMP Engineering, Revenue and Health Bhawan, with a promise to construct a new market complex in an area of 8000 sq feet, where presently the Bhawan is situated.
In the mean time, the BBMP allowed the 21 persons who sold mutton, chicken and fish, vegetables and fruits to set up their temporary stalls on the footpaths. The Bharatinagar Residents’Forum, President N S Ravi said, “Now the Bhawan has also been completed, I don’t understand what is forbidding them to shift to the new building and construct the market on that area for the vendors soon.”
When City Express interacted with a few vendors, reactions were the same. “Over the years, our percentage of customers have gone down. This is because people consider our items as unhygienic, since we are situated very near to the main road,” says Fareed, a poultry dealer.
Voicing a similar opinion, Anand who is a vegetable vendor said, “I have no hopes on the BBMP. Their promises are futile, I do not think the idea of a new market will materialise in the near future at least. If for a minute, we forget about the market also, their is no footpath for the people to walk as we have occupied those, since we are left with no other option.”
When City express spoke to the Chairperson for the Standing Committee for Market, Roopa Ramesh, she said, “It has been approved by the government and it is surely under process. However, I feel it will take some time for the market to come into place.”
In the year 2009, more than 90 members of the forum staged an hour-long protest to construct a proper market for the vendors, but the demands fell on deaf ears and it still continues as it is.