Evicted from Cox Town market, vendors have nowhere to go

Evicted from Cox Town market, vendors have nowhere to go

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is yet to fulfil a promise made eight years ago. Around 21 vendors from Cox Town market, who were asked to temporarily shift to the footpath till a new building was constructed for them, are awaiting BBMP’s call to move in.

“They told us that they will construct a better building in six months. It’s been eight long years and all they offer is empty promise,” says Abdul, a mutton shop owner. The 80-year-old Cox Town market has vendors selling flowers, vegetables, mutton, chicken and sea food. A 55-year-old vendor selling fish points to the swanky new building right opposite his shop and says, “That is BBMP office.

All these years they told us the market will come up on that land. But they went back on their words.” The new BBMP office houses the engineer’s office, health and tax office. “They told us parking space would be provided for our vehicles. But after construction they said they need space to park their vehicles,” says Ashfaque, another shopkeeper.

The shopkeepers complain that they face a lot of problems selling their goods on the footpath. “There is no space. Half of our things are on the road,” says a vegetable vendor. The hospital located right behind the market has complained against them. “We sell sea food and the hospital authorities say the smell is disgusting. We take all necessary steps to avoid inconvenience to others. But what about us?” asks Ahmed. “We don’t even have a strong roof. How long should we manage like this?” he wonders.

The local residents who depend hugely on the market say it is inconvenient for them too. “The road adjoining the footpath has a lot of vehicles plying on it. All the dust from the vehicles settles on sea food. Sometimes I avoid buying it. With so much pollution from vehicles, how can I be sure it is safe?” says Martha, a housewife.

Many motorists complain about the location of vendors. “On weekends and evenings, there is always a traffic jam, because their goods occupy most of the road,” says Anand, a resident.

When contacted, BBMP played the blame game, with most departments saying it wasn’t their job.

“The engineering department has to build the market. Once it is built he can look into the issue,” said a revenue department official.

“We can’t do anything till elections. Once they are over we will look into the matter,” said Raju, Assistant Engineer for the area.

The Joint Commissioner, East Zone, Venkateshappa put the blame on elections. “If you have any documents related to this issue, get it and we will look into it. But all this will be possible only after the elections,” he said.

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