A garbage dump for a market

Vendors feel cheated as a nearby shopping mall and the road-widening project across the market have taken away most of their space, forcing them to sell and dump garbage at the same place. The existing infrastructure is very old and in ruins. All the vendors have to sit on broken slabs. The roads are tough to negotiate and garbage keeps piling up daily.

Raniamma, who has been selling vegetables at the market for 30 years, says everything had changed ever since the developments across the road. “Earlier, we occupied the entire stretch of the road. Customers could easily walk around and shop for vegetables. What’s now left is a dumping yard. Sometimes, we have to sit on garbage to sell vegetables,” she complains.

Gangamma, another vendor, says they have lost many customers who prefer shopping in air-conditioned malls. “I have visited such malls where every vegetable has a price tag and customers generally collect vegetables and pay for them without bargaining. But here, although we sell fresh vegetables, customers always bargain.”

Over the last six months, the BBMP has been assuring vendors that the Palike would asphalt the road, build shelters and toilets. But nothing has materialised, points out Akmal, who is in charge of the Madiwala market. “We suffer huge losses whenever it rains, as customers do not wish to shop walking in the slush. The roads are so bad that most of the shopkeepers are forced to wrap up their business,” he says.

With no toilets, vendors who stay close to the market go to their houses to relieve themselves. But others find it extremely tough. Prakash, the Palike chief engineer, South Zone, says nearly Rs 91 lakh has been allotted in this year’s budget for Madiwala market renovation.

Work will start shortly, he says, as vendors and customers take the assurance with a pinch of salt.

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