SAMBALPUR: Amid rumours of eviction, hundreds of vendors earning a livelihood at the Kamlibazar weekly haat heaved a sigh of relief as the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) clarified on Monday that the market will be included under the State government’s Samaleswari Temple Area Management and Local Economy Initiatives (SAMALEI) scheme.
The clarification by SMC came a day after the vendors staged a road blockade protesting the closure of the Kamlibazar haat.The civic body clarified that Kamlibazar is a part of the SAMALEI project and many developmental works will be carried out at the market as part of the beautification and redevelopment of the 16th-century Samaleswari temple.
Enforcement officer of SMC Subhankar Mohanty clarified that rumours around eviction of the haat for the SAMALEI scheme, are not true. Since the construction work for the redevelopment project is on in full swing, many heavy vehicles will ply on the road leading to Samaleswari temple passing through Kamlibazar. The operation of market will not only hamper smooth movement of vehicles but also pose risk to people moving through that area, informed Mohanty.
Thus, for the safety and security of the vendors and buyers, the market area has been closed temporarily. The area has been barricaded and vendors asked to operate from another place close to the market for sometime. However, the market will not be closed down, he clarified.
Believed to have been set up way back in 1864 by the then Deputy Commissioner of Sambalpur Alexander Bulstrode Cumberledge, Kamlibazar is the oldest organised market of Sambalpur. More than 200 vendors set up their stalls every Sunday and make a brisk business in the market.