Malleswaram market traders refuse to move out

Allege makeshift building is of poor quality

Malleswaram market traders refuse to move out

The traders at the Malleswaram market are refusing to shift to the makeshift building, alleging that the Bangalore Development Authority has constructed the new structure on a stormwater drain and the work is of poor quality.

The market, which is mostly home to traders of flowers, fruits and vegetables, is owned by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike (BBMP). Following an agreement, the Palike handed over the market land to BDA for construction of a seven-storey complex last year. The Authority, in turn took up the task of rehabilitating the traders in the market by building temporary shops for them.

While the High Court gave the green signal for the project on June 20, the traders are reluctant to shift to the new location.

According to sources, the BDA has been constructing only 119 shops though there are 247 vendors in the market.

Wall collapse

During the construction of temporary sheds, a three-foot wall that was supposedly being built without foundation, came crashing down on July 4.

The incident raised doubts over the quality of construction among vendors, and a few of them who have already been allotted shops have decided not to move out.

The traders also complain about the small dimension of the shops being allocated to them. “Some shops are just 4’x 6’, which is too small for anyone to conduct business.

We will not relocate at any cost. Although some BDA officials are coaxing us to shift to the new location, no one has vacated till date,” said Puttananjaiah, vegetable vendor. Chandrashekhar G, another trader added, “ We will approach the High Court seeking demolition of temporary shops as they have been built unscientifically.”

RTI activist B M Shivakumar said the High Court recently passed on order saying that all shops and buildings built on SWDs could be razed down by the authorities concerned without serving notice.

“But the government agencies are violating the rules  themselves. The new shops do not even have proper roofing as low-quality tin sheets are being used. A spell of heavy rain is enough to make these shops collapse like a pack of cards,” Shivakumar said.

When contacted, BDA Engineer P N Nayak admitted that the new shops were indeed being built on drains. The temporary sheds are being built on covered drains and hence the vendors will not be inconvenienced much. The July 4 incident was an accident and so far, there have been no complaints from anyone about the quality of the construction,” he claimed. 

Meanwhile, the BDA which had demolished a fruit stall at the entrance of the market on March 2, has reconstructed the structure. However, M Thangavelu, the proprietor of the fruit stall alleged that his business has suffered.

“The business is down by almost 50 per cent. Neither the BDA nor the Palike officials have visited me. A temporary shed has been built as a shop. During monsoon, it’s really difficult for me to conduct business as rainwater enters the shed,”  he rued.

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