KR Market redesign from Jan-end

Space to be optimised, hawkers' zone streamlined and accessibility boosted

KR Market redesign from Jan-end

For years, the city’s historic Krishna Rajendra Market lay trapped in a chaotic mess of uncleared filth, haphazard parking, and underused vendor spaces.

Finally, a total makeover is now on the horizon, with the BBMP all set to start work on a radical redesign of the Market and its surroundings this month-end. A refreshing new layout has been proposed for the entire area, maximising use of space, the roads and injecting an element of pedestrianisation.

Once the project -- which also incorporates a multi-level car-parking setup for 300 cars -- kicks off, the entire exercise is scheduled to be completed in six months. “We have already appointed Venkatraman Associates as the consultants. We intend to implement the project after taking exemption under Section 4(g) of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements Act 1999,” Mayor B S Satyanarayana told Deccan Herald.

Haphazard pedestrian and vehicular movement, unauthorised encroachment by hawkers, lack of a designated space for loading and unloading of market produce...
The Market in its current state posed a mighty challenge for any redesign. Unauthorised parking entirely blocked access to the basement of the new Market building.

Poor use of available space meant the first floor was hardly occupied by the vendors, and the second floor with an area of 90,000 sqft. complete with high ceilings and multiple vaults, totally vacant for more than a decade.

Clear priorities

The redesign has its priorities clear: To improve the accessibility to the Market building through optimal use of approach roads; streamline parking and hawker areas; and yes, maximise the use of space on all floors of the structure. As the project consultant Naresh Narasimhan informed, the top floor had enough space for production and recording studios and a gallery area. It could also be transformed as a more organised supermarket.  

Under the proposed site plan, the road width will be optimised, pavements clearly demarcated and traffic reorganised accordingly. The messy hawkers zone will be organised. Besides the multi-level parking for cars, a separate space will be carved out for two-wheelers.

As an alternative to the existing cacophony of loading and unloading, a separate zone will be earmarked for this critical supply-side activity. Also on the agenda are service lifts to carry the goods to different floors of the Market building. To make the basement accessible, erratic parking that blocks its entrance will be removed. With improved pavements, pedestrians could walk straight to the second floor through lifts installed on an additional building. They could also use a staircase. Once this is ready, Market-bound Namma Metro passengers could alight at the KR Market station and walk directly to their destination.

Designated waste management and garbage disposal areas would mean visitors to the Market could finally get relief from the stink that pervades the entire area. The Market generates an estimated 30 tonnes of waste daily.

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