Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Bengaluru loses its good old markets

Bengaluru loses its good old markets
Bengaluru,


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The older markets in Bengaluru, an integral part of the daily life of people in the city, are being torn down to make way for swanky new megastores. Bengalureans worry that this will come at the loss of the personal touch that they are used to because the friendly shopkeepers of the old bazaars are unlikely to be at the new markets, reports Shilpa P. coming soon BBMP, which has 147 markets in its jurisdiction, has proposed to remodel 12 markets including KR Market, Jayanagar, fourth block, Gandhi Bazaar, Malleswaram Market, Kalasipalya Market, Yediyur Market, Maavalli Market, Lakkasandra Market, Sheshadripuram Market, Johnson Market, Moore Road Market and Cox Town Market among others.

BDA, which owns 11 shopping complexes in the city, has proposed a plan to demolish and rebuild shopping complexes at Indiranagar, RT Nagar, Austin Town and Vijaynagar.

Before the colonial architecture that characterised the city was replaced by monstrous buildings of steel and glass, Bengalureans would go to old marketplace and stores with which they forged relationships that stood the test of time.
No more. With civic agencies Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) planning to remodel and rebuild old markets, this tradition may soon come to an end.

Lakshmi Chandrashekhar, senior theatre artiste and wife of senior politician B.
K. Chandrashekar, has lived in Bengaluru for the last three decades. Though she has moved to Banashankari, second stage, from Basavanagudi, she unfailingly heads to a shop in Gandhi Bazaar, Srinivasa Stores, fondly called Subbammana Angadi, whenever her supply of condiments runs short.

Teleserial and movie director T.N. Seetharam is also an avid reader. But the new well-stocked multi-storied lifestyle bookshops are not for him. "For the past 25 years, every time I wanted to buy a book, I only go to Nagashree Book Store in Jayanagar, fourth block. We share a close bond and they understand my needs well," Mr Seetharam says. But with the modern markets set to replace the old stores, business with a personal touch may soon become a cash-and-carry activity, he laments.

Presently, BBMP, which has 147 markets in its jurisdiction, is preparing a detailed project report (DPR) on a proposed remodelling of 12 markets in the city including KR Market, Jayanagar, fourth block, Gandhi Bazaar, Malleswaram Market, Kalasipalya Market, Yediyur Market, Maavalli Market, Lakkasandra Market, Sheshadripuram Market, Johnson Market, Moore Road Market and Cox Town Market among others. Renovation of 11 shopping complexes at Indiranagar, RT Nagar, Austin Town and Vijayanagar is also on the cards for the BDA.

"BBMP has set up a market cell for the remodelling project. The DPRs for the markets in Jayanagar, fourth block, Kalasipalya, KR Market and Malleswaram are ready. It will not take more than a year to implement the plans. All markets will receive a facelift within the next three years," says a BBMP official.

Ultramodern shopping centres equipped with parking facilities are some of the features of the remodelled markets, says Venkatachalapathy M., BBMP deputy commissioner (markets).

Patrons of these markets are worried that the modernising plans will ruin the old city look and feel of the place. Also, not all shopkeepers will be able to afford the upkeep of a "modern" store. "The old markets meet our traditional needs, be it Dasara dolls or other items required for festivities and religious rituals.
These shops may not find a place in modern markets as they will not be able to afford the high rents at the complexes to be built here.
The rates of products may also increase and then, the common man will not be able to afford them anymore," says Srinivasa Iyengar, a resident of Jayanagar.

Fresh vegetables usually bought from farmers at cheaper rates may soon find their way into the racks of supermarkets in the complexes. They will be out of reach for low and middle income households, fears Lalitha Narayan, a housewife.

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