Vendors, beggars thrive on Chamundi Hill

Vendors and beggars thrive on the negligence of the Muzarai department officials and the Police department personnel atop the Chamundi Hill, here, complain, a section of the visitors.

“Tourism is the lifeline of Mysuru and most of the vocations here are either directly or indirectly related to tourism. However, unregulated trade, ill-planned development and also illegal activities, such as beggary and prostitution, would prove detrimental. When one lands at the bus stop atop the hill, one can see a lot of children selling toys, badges and stickers. Even though it appears like the children are selling some wares, they are actually into beggary. Some elders are controlling them,” points out Shivaramegowda, a devotee from Srirangapatna.

Ugly sight

“Most of the vendors have set up shops atop the hill haphazardly. The premises of the temple looks ugly, due to the presence of the shops. The spiritual, cultural and heritage look of the temple is marred by the presence of the shops. Now, the vendors and beggars have found vantage points in the enclosure of the queue of the visitors. The vendors sell cheap quality food items and other ware at exorbitant rates. Helpless visitors are fleeced. Even the food served by the temple committee is of inferior quality, forcing the visitors to depend on the food items available outside,” he said.

“One of the reasons, why Mysuru is held in high regard, attracting tourists, is that the city is comparatively cleaner. But, the thriving business atop the hill causes generation of tonnes of garbage every day. The visitors are attracted to buy the things, when they are easily available. They buy packed food items and throw their wrappers all over. Now that eatables and water bottles are available in the queue enclosure also, there is no respite from munching. People buy snacks and water bottles and throw away the garbage inside the enclosure itself,” said Gangadhar, a local resident.

Beggary

A vendor, who wished anonymity, said that all business and beggary is carried out with the protection of the Temple Management Committee staff and police personnel. “All higher officials know what is going on. But, they have no control on their staff. Both, unregulated trade and beggary, bring ill-repute to the temple as well as to Mysuru. However, the officials seem to be not concerned,” he said.

“We do business for our livelihood. People complain that they are fleeced. If we sell quality products at MRP, how can we bribe the temple staff and policemen? We are forced to sell inferior products at higher prices to make both ends meet. We are also not happy with beggary, especially by children. But, their lobby is strong. We cannot raise our voice against them. They have the protection of the officials,” he said.

Convenience

Shashidhar, a visitor said that besides the problems of vendors and beggary, the temple management is not concerned about the visitors. “While the visitors have to leave their footwear at the entry points of the temple and also the dining hall, the exit points are far away. It is horrible experience when the climate is hot,” he said.

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