Dirty markets keep shoppers away

Dirty markets keep shoppers away

The shabby condition of the markets in the City is continuing to be a cause for concern for the citizens who go there on a daily basis. Although the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has started cleaning up the KR Market, other markets like Russell Market and Yeshwantpur Market are crying out for attention. 

Keerthi Varma, who purchases vegetables and fruits at the markets regularly, says, “I used to go to these markets because I get items at reasonable rates there. But I no longer go there as you get the same things at heavily discounted rates at wholesale stores, where you can shop in a good ambience. And you don’t have any parking problems either. I have decided not to get fruits and vegetables at such unclean locations.”

Home-maker Prabha Kamath too shares a similar experience. She says, “While I usually don’t go to markets, I thought that if I did, it would help me save money. It is very inconvenient to shop there.  I’d rather pay extra for the convenience that I get at malls,” she says. 

Ramya K, an English lecturer, points out that the only reason she continues to frequent markets is because everything is available at a lesser rate there. 

“Even with all the inconveniences, we can buy groceries at affordable prices there. But I must say that Yeshwantpur Market, where I go to, stinks heavily. The market is in such a shabby state that the vendors are willing to give away the produce at throwaway prices. For instance, I bought four kilos of vegetables for Rs 5 recently. It is a compromise that we have to make but it’s now the authorities who have to take charge. The markets should be cleaned on a regular basis and organised better.” 

Lashing out at the BBMP, RV Gopi, president of the Vegetables and Fruits Wholesale Merchants’ Association, who works at Kalasipalya Market, rues that the conditions are the same in all the markets. 

“But I must say that the worst one is KR Market. Although a clean-up drive was initiated recently, the place requires a complete revamp,” he says. According to Gopi, the number of hawkers on the footpath is also an issue. 

“The footpaths are getting dirty and the sellers inside the market don’t get any business. The BBMP has to come out with a permanent solution for a problem that’s looming large,” he explains. 

However, BBMP commissioner M Lakshminarayana says, “We are putting in a lot of effort to improve all the markets, especially KR Market. In fact, we ensure that it is cleaned three times everyday along with an intensive cleaning session once a week. But the problem is that the traders don’t have any civic sense. We have advised them a number of times to throw waste into a dustbin or a gunnysack but they insist on throwing the waste, including rotten fruits and vegetables, on the roads. It is a sad state of affairs.”

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