Traders say BBMP left them 'high and dry'

Palike promised to rehabilitate 247 Malleswaram traders, but gave shops to just 110

Traders say BBMP left them 'high and dry'

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which had entered into an agreement with the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for rebuilding the Malleswaram fruit and vegetable market, has failed to rehabilitate all the traders who are to be evicted from the existing premises. 

The temporary shops built by the BDA next to the market can accommodate only 110 of the 247 traders. The market will give way for a shopping complex being built under  public private partnership by the BBMP and the BDA. 

The BDA engineer member, P N Nayak, claimed that the BBMP had asked them to build only 110 shops. “These are temporary shops. Traders will be shifted to the market once the construction is over,” he told Deccan Herald. 

G Chandrashekhar, Secretary of Malleswaram Fruit and Vegetable Market Association, asked: “Where will the remaining 137 traders go. Besides, the temporary shops have been built on stormwater drains and can cave in any time.” 

Chandrashekhar further said that he and 47 other traders had approached the High Court last year for getting temporary shops alloted to them. The BBMP served them notices on February 19, asking them to vacate the market. 

As per the notice, traders say, they have to vacate the market within seven days and shift to the makeshift shops constructed by the BDA. The Palike also blamed them for delaying the construction and threatened to take legal action if they refused to fall in line, they claimed. 

B C Bharati, Assistant Revenue Officer, Markets (West), said action would have to be taken against traders if they refuse to move out. “The higher-ups have given the order. Action will be taken by March 3,” the officer added. 

Chandrashekhar said the BDA and the BBMP should make a provision where traders could stay at the present premises, instead of relocating to the temporary shops which “have neither space nor amenities”. 

Traders say they are ready to pay more than Rs 150, the present monthly rent per shop. “We are ready to pay more to the Palike. But it is irregular and collects rent only from a few,” said Revanna, a flower merchant. “This has been happening for the last 18 months.” 

But the BBMP Commissioner, M Lakshminarayana, said the Palike could do little about the matter as the market land was held by the BDA. “The authority would have to deal with issues such as allocation of shops and rehabilitation of traders.” 

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