Malleswaram market will soon find a place in the pages of history as the Karnataka High Court has vacated its stay and has directed the BBMP to clear vendors from the premises. The vendors are to be accommodated in a new building, construction of which will start within four weeks. This 50-year-old market, which is home to over 250 shops, is to be replaced by a commercial complex at a cost of ` 72 crore.
Disheartened by the decision, N Shivakumar, a vendor at this market said, “No merchant here has been provided an alternative shop since the High Court’s stay. It is difficult to vacate the entire market within four weeks without us having an option to look forward to. We paid rent regularly, even when business was not good. Offering us shops on the second or third floor of the new complex won’t solve our issues either. How will our senior customers climb up to buy fruits, vegetables and flowers? It will terribly affect our business. On the other hand, in order to construct the commercial complex, besides taking down our shops, many trees in the vicinity of the market will have to be axed.”
The authorities in-charge had earlier cited the traffic jams on Sampige road and lack of parking lots as reasons to construct the complex.
Speaking on the issue, Ravishankar, president, Malleswaram Commercial Traders’ Association, said, “Over 60 per cent of the vendors here misused shops allotted to them in the market. The construction of the commercial complex will help those who conduct a fair business. Merchants will be provided with an alternative spot, adjacent to the current market. Since there was temporary stay order brought in by the merchants, it has led to delays in our construction schedules. As the High Court has now finally passed its order, the government will first construct a temporary market for the merchants and then get on with work on the new commercial complex.”