To market, to market to buy nothing

The Bejai market complex which is under construction.DH photos/Chandrahas Kotekar

Though the MCC began constructing a market complex at Bejai two years ago, it is yet to  be completed. The work on the five-storey complex is lingering owing to paucity of funds.

Karnataka Infrastructure Road Development Corporation (KIRDC), which had taken up the work on the market had stopped the work few months ago owing to shortage of funds. The market was supposed to be built at the cost of Rs four crore. However, the cost had now escalated to Rs seven crore, said sources in City Corporation to City Herald.

Dakshina Kannada District-in-Charge Minister Krishna Palemar had laid the foundation stone for the complex on August 25, 2009. However, even after two years, all the sellers who were selling the produce inside the old market and who were asked to vacate for giving way to the new building, are still selling their produce by the roadside.

It was Lancelot Pinto, the present leader of Opposition in the Council, who proposed the market complex in 1988. He, as a Corporator of Bejai ward, had submitted a proposal on December 12, 1988 to acquire land for the construction of market complex. The council, at its meeting on December 20, 1988, had passed a resolution to acquire land. The old Bejai market was situated on 14 cents land. Later, the Corporation acquired 27 cents adjacent to its site by paying a sum of Rs 23.32 lakh from its owner.

The present new market complex will come up on 41 cents land.

The old market had 15 women selling fish and shell fish, five vegetable vendors, two chicken and a mutton stall. However, all these sellers have been shifted from the venue two years ago. The sellers have no place to go other than to continue the profession by selling the produce by the roadside.

As per the proposal, the new market complex will have parking facility at the basement; flower, vegetable, fruits market on the ground floor; fish, chicken stalls on the first floor. In the second and third floor, there will be super markets and shops.

In the recently held MCC meeting, the Council has decided to earmark Rs 50 lakh towards taking up the work on the market. The funds will be utilised from the general fund of the MCC.

The MCC has decided to take up the work of the maket in a phased manner. In the first phase, the work on basement and plinth beam was completed.

In the second phase, a sum of Rs 50 lakh was utilised for laying the pillars. In the third phase, a sum of Rs 17 lakh was used for concreting the lower basement slab. Even after taking up the work in three phases, the sellers who were asked to vacate the place could not be brought back to the market. Hence, the MCC has decided to earmark Rs 50 lakh to complete upper basement slab, so that atleast the sellers who were shifted could be provided space to sell their produce.

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