Two years on, razed shops push traders to brink

Owners forced to take up menial jobs to make both ends meet
Last Updated 11 February 2013, 19:52 IST

It has been two years since the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, following a High Court order, demolished shops on New Market Road in Shivajinagar, as they were built on a stormwater drain.

With their shops razed to the ground, shop owners were forced to take up menial jobs to make ends meet.

The Palike, soon after completing the demolition drive, had assured vendors that new stalls would be constructed in three months.

Till date, the Palike has failed to act on its assurances.
“We were neither given compensation nor an alternative space to set up stalls. This way, the Palike’s demolition drive has pushed us to the brink,” said vendors.

With the demolition of shops, the street bears a deserted look and the number of buyers is declining by the day, said Mehboob, who owned a shop on New Road.
Unkept promise

If only the Palike had set up stalls in three months as it had promised, our business would have thrived, he added.

While no business could be carried out on the New Market Road, people were seen bargaining for goods ranging from groceries, upholstery items to kitchenwares on the opposite  Jumma Masjid Road.

“I used to shop for vegetables, fruits, groceries and plumbing materials at shops on New Road. Now that shops are demolished, I will have to look for shops elsewhere,” said Leena. Residents and shop owners on New Road said:

“For the past one week, the Palike has been constructing a wall around SWD and laying concrete roads on either side of the road. A few residents and vendors seem happy about the development. The others, however, are sceptical about it and construe it as an election gimmick.

When Deccan Herald contacted Shivajinagar Corporator Shakeel Ahmed, he said: “We will provide shops to vendors as soon as SWD work is complete and the roads are given a facelift. Change in contractors delayed the work.

“Roshan Baig, MLA representing Shivajinagar Constituency, and I approached Palike Commissioner Siddaiah. He has directed Palike chief engineer to take up the work soon,” he added.  

(Published 11 February 2013, 19:51 IST)

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