Flawed auction process leaves vegetable market in limbo

Flawed auction process leaves vegetable market in limbo

Yet-to-be inaugurated market was built by APMC at a cost of Rs 7.75 cr

Though the full-fledged vegetable and fruits market near the KSRTC bus stand was readied one-and-a-half year back, it is not thrown open to public due to the alleged irregularities reported in auction process.

The APMC had identified the land near KSRTC bus stand for constructing vegetable and fruits market on the lines of Raitha Sante a good 15 years back.

The APMC soon took the land in its possession. But the construction of market was delayed due to lack of funds. The APMC tried in vain to get grants from the State and Centre for the construction of market.

The then APMC president H B Diwakar, secretary Nyamagouda and administration board injected life into the long-pending plan and got into action mode. The APMC administration decided to construct the market using its funds. Accordingly an action plan was prepared to build the market at a cost of Rs 4.9 crore.

In January 2013, the foundation stone for the market was laid.
The sustained efforts by APMC secretary Nyamagouda made sure the market with multiple stalls came up on two acres of land. Open platforms and hundreds of small and big stalls were built for the benefit of the farmers and the traders. The construction cost shot up to Rs 7.75 crore but was worth it.

The APMC committee had cleared the bills of the contractors and was expecting that the market would generate revenue in one to two years.

But unfortunately the newly built market is proving to be a liability for the APMC.
With most of the stalls remaining unoccupied following a dispute in auction process. The APMC is suffering losses as the shutters of the stalls have been damaged due to corrosion. LED bulbs installed on the premises have gone missing.

Auction stalled
In fact the APMC had started the process of auctioning the stalls.

There was huge demand for the stalls. A few stalls were auctioned for monthly rent of Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000. The auction process was derailed when 18 big stalls in the interiors were rented out to a few influential for a mere rent of Rs 6,500 per month, based on SR Rate. Those who had got stalls for a hefty rent of Rs 15,000 to 30,000 in the auction raised objection to this. The auction process was stalled.

Add to it the auction process for the commercial stalls on the exterior of the market didn't take off owing to a lukewarm response. So, the stalls have remained unsold.
Add to it, the authorities have not bothered to inaugurate the market.

When Deccan Herald questioned MLA K Shadakshari on undue delay in inaugurating the market, the MLA said that the market would be inaugurated soon by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Meanwhile, the then APMC president H B Diwakar, during whose tenure, the market was constructed, is repenting for having invested so much and not getting anything out of it. "The APMC used to get a monthly interest of Rs 7.5 lakh for its savings. We spent every single pie on the market. But sadly the APMC is not getting anything out of it.

The investment made on it with a view to safeguard the interests of farmers and the customers, has gone waste, rues, Diwaker, former APMC