'Accommodate us in new market at kankanady'

The present market complex in a dilapidated state in Kankanady in Mangaluru.

Fear of losing their only livelihood haunts shop owners at Kankanady Market.

The market will soon be demolished and rebuilt by the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) at a total cost of Rs 42.5 crore, under Smart City mission.

Kankanady Market Association President Ali Hassan said, “We are happy that the MCC is building a new market. But we will be forced to file a legal case if the 99 shop owners, currently operation from present market building, are not accommodated in the new building”.

“If the city corporation wishes to construct additional shops after providing shops to the current 99 owners, then it can do so legally. We trust District-in-charge Minister U T Khader and corporator Naveen D’Souza,” he stressed.

The shop owners said the market building, built 22 years ago, is in a dilapidated state.  Its cement blocks are falling off the roof thus posing danger to the lives of shopkeepers. The building was built without providing basic facilities, they charged.

They said the market building attracts only a few visitors as it does look like one. Mohammed Sharief, a shopkeeper, said, “It is not customer-friendly either. It leaks heavily and does not have proper lighting. The air circulation is poor and it lacks proper water supply and drainage facilities,” he said.

District In-Charge Minister U T Khader said, “The new market is a requirement as part of the urban development programme. The shop owners have been assured of space in the new market. But if we are bringing in new shops, we need to follow a legal procedure”.

Social Activist Gerard Towers said the new market itself is a waste of the tax-payers’ money. “Why should we be building a new market? Tax money is being wasted because of a lack of farsightedness in the planning,” he said.

Ten food stall owners, operating outside the market, have sought rehabilitation in the new building without relocation hassles. Raghav, who runs a food stall since 25 years, has urged the civic body to make some arrangements for them as well. “We are willing to pay the building rent to the corporation,” he said.

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