28 shops in Malleswaram market razed to the ground

As many as 28 shops at the Malleswaram old market on Sampige Road were razed to the ground by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) amid heavy security on Thursday morning as per a High Court order.

Before the demolition could begin, the traders protested for half an hour by blocking the road to prevent the Palike personnel from entering the marketplace. One of them even threatened to set himself ablaze. But the BBMP team continued the demolition using earthmovers.

B R Nanjundappa, chairperson of the BBMP Standing Committee on Markets, told Deccan Herald, “We had identified 88 shops to be demolished for building a shopping complex here. We had issued notices to the traders on December 6 itself. Over 88 temporary shops have been constructed behind the market by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and the traders have been allotted those shops.”

A Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) was signed between the BDA and the BBMP for the construction of the shopping complex in 2012. “The court favoured us and gave a go-ahead for the project. Hence, we raze the shops to the ground. We will demolish the remaining 60 shops in the coming days,” he added.

G Chandrashekhar, secretary, Malleswaram Fruit and Vegetable Market Association, said that there were a total of 241 shops in the market, all of which were occupied by the traders though temporary shops had been allotted to them. “The temporary shops are built on a Storm Water Drain and not fit for us to move in. Also, one shop has been given to two to three traders. Where will the remaining 153 traders go,” he asked.

BBMP officials present at the spot said that the remaining 153 traders would be allotted temporary shops gradually. The demolition was stopped in the afternoon on a direction of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah directed the BBMP officials.

“Some days ago, BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhatt told the media that they were planning to reconsider their decision to develop the market as the land does not belong to them. Despite the project on the verge of being shelved, the civic agency has demolished shops. It has an ulterior motive,” RTI activist BM Shivakumar claimed.

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