BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is planning to bring all shops situated in various markets of the city under insurance cover. The civic body has decided to take this step following criticism from all sections of the Opposition in the BBMP council meeting for failing to take any action in preventing the fire in BBMP complexes and markets in the past. The opposition upped their ante particularly after the recent fire mishap in Russel Market.
To silence the opposition and win back the confidence of the marginal and small shop owners as well as the trading community in particular, BBMP’s Standing Committee Chairman for Markets, Roopa Ramesh has pitched in the new proposal of insuring all the shops in the 152 BBMP market complexes.
The decision was taken following the freak fire incident at Russel Market which gutted 126 odd shops and reduced every thing into ash.
Speaking to Express, Standing Committee Chairman Roopa Ramesh, said: “We have 152 markets with 6,442 shops and some are in dilapidated condition and to give financial assistance in case of any tragedy, it is very difficult. The rate of insurance, however, for each shop will be different.”
The market’s Deputy Commissioners have been given clear instructions in compiling the bonafide data of each shop and owner in 152 markets. Further, to avoid any controversy, the Chairman has decided to ban the sale of plastic in all market limits. “We have gathered information that the fire spreads in shops like wild fire when there is lot of plastic around. Hence, the market committee has issued clear instructions to all shop owners not to sell plastic, and if found guilty of selling, then the committee will issue notices twice and finally will close down the shop,” stressed Roopa Ramesh.
She further added that Russel Market which was destroyed in fire will soon see the much needed face lift, and in this regard, the Markets committee has already called in tenders from the builders.
Opposition dubs it a political stunt
The opposition Congress in the BBMP stated that the decision of insuring all shops sounds very superficial. “We have been hearing many things from the ruling front. Last year, the BBMP announced a grandeur budget of Rs 9,500 crore, plus Rs 1,500 as an additional grant from the State Government for the overall development of the city. But, nothing has happened and the same will be reflected in the BBMP’s Markets department as well,” said M Udayshankar, Opposition Leader in the BBMP council.