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9 years on, Bengaluru vendors' wait for refurbished market turns into frustration

Indeed, the hope of vendors across the city’s major markets has morphed into frustration as the redevelopment drags on, leaving them struggling to make ends meet.
Last Updated : 08 January 2024, 21:33 IST
Last Updated : 08 January 2024, 21:33 IST

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Bengaluru: In 2015, vendors at Malleswaram market readily vacated their shops, lured by promises of a brand-new market with better facilities.

“It has been nine years since we vacated the market for the construction of the new building,” rues Manjula, a vendor.

Indeed, the hope of vendors across the city’s major markets has morphed into frustration as the redevelopment drags on, leaving them struggling to make ends meet.

Stagnation

While awaiting their promised haven, vendors grapple with dwindling incomes and dire conditions in their temporary shelters.

A reality check by DH at Madiwala, Malleswaram, and Cox Town markets revealed the harsh reality — lack of basic amenities like toilets and drinking water has added to their daily woes.

Sujata, a vegetable vendor at Madiwala, lamented: “The rainy season is a nightmare. Leaky tarpaulins and flooded shops damage our goods. Even tree branches come crashing down.”

Security troubles

The move to temporary shops has also exposed vendors to increased theft and rodent infestations.

Jayamma, from Malleswaram, said: “Stored goods get stolen or are damaged by rats and donkeys.”

She spends Rs 1,800 every month on a battery-powered light due to lack of electricity at the temporary shops.

The saga is the same at Cox Town, where vendors, displaced for 22 years, have not even been allotted shops in the newly built market.

A meat vendor at the temporary market revealed: “The legal battle is still ongoing. Allotment is yet to be made, despite completion of the Cox Town market.”

Exorbitant rents

Some vendors allege exorbitantly high rents at the few shops allotted in the renovated markets.

Blame game 

The blame game goes on, with the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) pointing fingers at the contractor for the delay in Malleswaram, even as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) cites legal hurdles and funding issues for the slowdown at the Madiwala and Cox Town markets .

A senior BBMP official pointed out that shop rents are based on government-set standard rates.

“Vendors approach the court, and the case drags on. Funding is also a problem when works slow down,” he added.

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Published 08 January 2024, 21:33 IST

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