A landmark ready to disappear
One of the landmarks in South Bangalore — the Jayanagar Shopping Complex — is all set to don a new look. Constructed in 1976, the building will now make way for a swanky six-storied mall.
For years now, the market has been bustling with activities. Vegetable, fruit and flower vendors, banks, government offices, eateries and bookstalls are located in and around the building. The winds of change have evoked mixed feelings among the old residents of the area and the traders who earn their livelihood here.
Riyaz, who sells stoles and dupattas, in one of the corridors of the complex, is one such trader who is clueless about his future once the traditional market goes. “The authorities are saying that they will make way for a brand new complex but till then, where will I go? I will only have to hope for the best,” he says.
The traditional vegetable market inside the commercial complex has over 90 shops, including general stores. Many vendors are still clueless about the renovation. Small traders like Nagaraj, who has been selling bags for more than five years inside the complex, says that he is apprehensive about the mall. “The mall will only help big brands, which will have their shops here. Small traders like us will be the worst affected,” he adds.
Venkatesh K V, the vice-president of the Jayanagar Shopping Complex Merchants’ Association, feels that a mall is not required at all. “What is required is better security and parking space. At the same time, one has to see if this move will help in curbing the hawkers’ problem that the complex has been facing for a long time,” he adds.
Many residents of Jayanagar say that they will miss the old-world charm that the complex houses but at the same time, they do understand that the prime location needs to undergo a makeover.
Shailaja, a lecturer, observes that for nearly a decade, the Puttanna Theatre right beside the complex, has been lying vacant. “With a new mall coming up, I am sure the theatre will be revamped and will bring back some good memories for old residents,” she adds.
Even Anil Kumar Reddy, a resident of the area, is welcoming the new change.
“One will miss the old complex. But if you actually go inside, you will find how much the market has changed. More than vegetables, you get commercial items now,” he explains.
Many from the film industry too say that they will miss the old Jayanagar Complex. Actor Dhruva Sarja, who has grown up in the Jayanagar area, reminisces about his school days and how he used to go to the markets and the complex regularly. “The complex has an energy of its own. I don’t know how far the mall will help but if it comes up, I will surely miss the old complex as it was a landmark,” he adds.
Director-cum-actor Ramesh Aravind, hopes that the new design will address the needs of the people. “I only wish the new design will have useful things that can help the community, like a kids’ play area, a gym, library and even a nice hangout place than just revenue-generators,” says Ramesh.
With work yet to start on this new project, one can only hope that the new development brings in better prospects for both traders and the people who visit the