Parking lot in limbo, Gandhi Bazaar vendors suffer

Bengaluru: Though the BBMP had planned a multi-level parking complex at Gandhi Bazaar near Basavanagudi, to curb the menace of illegal parking, its tardy execution has caused misery to motorists and vendors in Gandhi Bazaar.The work to change the Corporation Market into a parking complex began way back in 2006, but it was stopped half-way and even now the project is nowhere near completion.

Hundreds of vendors from the market area, who were evacuated to make way for the parking complex, are struggling to find new vending space on the road side. 
On the other hand the half-demolished Corporation Market has now been reduced to a garbage dump yard.

Venkatappa, a 42-year-old florist at the market said, “Earlier we had a good place to do our business inside the market, but now we are struggling with no place on the street. Even the business has suffered, not only because of paucity of space, but also because more people used to visit the market. Now with vendors scattered across the street, even the number of consumers has come down.”

Many fruit and vegetable vendors also complained of their businesses getting affected after the eviction. Even the nearby residents are unhappy with the stalling of car parking project. Dr N.M. Chandrashekar, a resident of Gandhi Bazaar, said, “The place was lying vacant with no work happening and eventually garbage started to pile up. The building is half demolished because of which even the vendors couldn’t use the space.”

He also said that no authority or agency is bothered to look into the issue and resolve it. The BBMP had planned to construct the complex through a public-private partnership model.

Local Corporator D.N. Ramesh said, “The Palike could have built the complex on its own. I don’t know why it was decided to do it under PPP model. There is some problem with the private agency and Palike, which has put the plan on hold. And now this has turned into a black spot for the entire area.”
BBMP Chief Engineer and in-charge of the project K.T. Nagaraj said, “There was a problem with allocation of grants, which resulted in delay of this project. Now we have submitted the tender proposal to the government and hope to finish the project soon.”

Vinay Sreenivasa of Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkuta said, “Multi-level complexes won’t help us vendors. We sell daily perishable products; no one comes and buys in bulk or spend much time in a complex like this, as everyone is in a rush. If we see K.R. Market, the second and third floors are empty. The same thing will happen here also if they don’t allocate adequate space for the vendors on the ground floor.” Facilities such as extra space, provision of toilets and garbage bins near outlets would help vendors and ensure cleanliness, he added.

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