Russell market springs back to life, it's business as usual

Russell market springs back to life, it's business as usual

Russell Market literally rose from the ashes, thanks to the determination of the local traders who took up the task on their own to renovate the 85-year-old iconic structure without seeking assistance from the government or the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike.

RESTORED: Shoppers throng the renovated Russell Market which was thrown open to public on Monday. KPN

After a gap of two months, the renovated market was thrown open to public on Monday in a programme sans the chief minister, mayor and deputy mayor.

The fire-ravaged structure has been brought to life with painted walls and immaculate false ceiling, perfectly in sync with its aesthetic look.

The Palike had planned to demolish the damaged portion of the market and replace it with a mall.

Demolition and reconstruction would have meant loss of livelihood for the traders at least for a period of two years. The fear made the traders take up the renovation work on their own, amid objections by the Palike authorities who termed the move disastrous. The traders went ahead with their renovation plan and availed the services of KK Infrastructure, which built the Bengaluru International Airport.

The general feeling of the visitors was that the traders had accomplished what the government could not, that too in a short span of time, and at a reasonable cost.
The traders made perfect lighting arrangements but electricity supply could not be restored yet. For the time being they are using generators. The Traders’ Association has also decided to give a facelift to other parts of the building, in a phased manner.
 Former minister Mumtaz Ali Khan, Chamarajpet legislator Zameer Ahmed Khan and Shanthinagar MLA N A Harris were present on the occasion.

Zameer Ahmed did not mince words to flay the ruling party. Speaking to reporters, he said none from the government or the BBMP lent any support to the traders.
“Their callous attitude could not stop the traders, who renovated the market using their money and reopened it in a short span,” said Ahmed.

Harris hailed the traders for saving the grand Russell Market using their own funds. He said the traders foiled the plan of the Palike to demolish the grand structure.
Syed Abrar of KK Infrastructure, who monitored the renovation work, said the structure has become stronger than what it was before. He said he had ensured that new pillars replaced all the old and damaged ones.

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