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8 years on, Malleshwaram flower and fruits market awaits better facilities

Vendors in the area told DH that many businesses had shut shops after the development works began
Last Updated : 18 January 2023, 22:49 IST
Last Updated : 18 January 2023, 22:49 IST
Last Updated : 18 January 2023, 22:49 IST
Last Updated : 18 January 2023, 22:49 IST

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Eight years after they were evacuated and forced to run their business in cramped temporary stalls, the vendors at the iconic Malleshwaram flower and fruits market, still await better facilities and redevelopment of the market.

Vendors in the area told DH that many businesses had shut shops after the development works began.

“Though there were over 200 shops in the market, only about 100 of them were allotted temporary shops when the work began. Now, owing to the poor conditions and lack of business many of those who were allotted shops have also shut their doors. Hardly 50 to 60 vendors are left now,” said M Shanmugam, a fruit vendor in the market area.

The poor state of the market has resulted in reduction in business, the vendors said. “We cannot compare the footfall back then to what it is now. People have a general perception that they can buy all the required items if they come to the market. But now, since the area does not look like a market, not many people come,” said Shanthamma, who runs a flower shop in the area.

The project, that was planned back in 2012, could not take off till 2015, owing to the delay in vacating the vendors. However, though the work was supposed to be completed before 2018, the BDA missed multiple deadlines, the most recent one being December 2022.

Reasons for delay

Asked about the inordinate delay, senior BDA officials told DH that the contractor was not taking the project seriously and they were now planning to terminate the contract. “We have served multiple notices and warned him to speed up the work. But, there has hardly been any progress,” a senior official said.

Further, he added that there was no shortage of funds to finish the project but a legal hurdle was delaying the progress. “The BDA has, in fact, paid in excess to the contractor and we are struggling to recover it. The contractor has approached the court and our hands are tied. We are waiting for the legal proceedings to be completed after which we can take action,” the official
added.

Yet another official said that only 70% of the work was completed in the last eight years. “If the works are expedited and planned well, we can complete the remaining works within six months. But, the legal procedure has to be followed and this might take time,” the official said.

The market, once ready, can house close to 180 vendors with two levels dedicated for parking.

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Published 18 January 2023, 19:03 IST

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