Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Congestion zone will go if Autonagar comes up

Congestion zone will go if Autonagar comes up

Shilpa CB. Bangalore



Shop owners and tenants of the used motor parts market on Siddaiah Road understand the difficulties of doing business in the city. They deal particularly in used parts of trucks and buses. That means some heavy duty parts and vehicles moving in and out of this sprawling market.
Most of the merchandise spills over to the footpaths and on to the road as tiny shops do not have enough space to accommodate all. Clearly, this presents a challenge to commuters, who use this road, and also to vehicles that visit for repair or to transport goods.
"The public and the authorities curse us. We understand their problems. We have our own. What can we do," says a shop owner.
Most residents and traders of Siddaiah Road who work in the vicinity of the market view the old motor parts market as a congestion zone. The bad name it has earned even as the city's traffic keeps growing will be hard to get rid of, traders say. They are not opposed to the road widening plan. "It is necessary," they say, accepting the widespread belief that bigger roads will ease traffic.
The only solution for them, they agree, is to move out of the area to a bigger and more organised space provided by the government, says the Old Motor Parts Dealers' Association. "We don't want the land for free. We will pay for it. We need the facility," says the president of the 40-year-old association, Syed Rizwan. "There are designated markets for vegetables, meat, clothes… why not set up one for motor parts too," he asks.
The thriving market plays a key role in recycling automobile spare parts and is integral to the transport industry. Why then should it not be given some respect? "Every state has an Autonagar. Bangalore too needs one," he says.
"We understand the government's constraints. Even if the area is slightly on the outskirts, we don't mind. Our patrons will come there as this is an essential service we provide," says Syed Anwar Pasha, vice-president of the association.
BBMP's proposal to break the shops and widen the road under the TDR scheme would render about 2,000 people jobless. "That would be sheer cruelty. Each of those 2,000 people supports a family. They will all be facing starvation if the authorities don't offer them proper compensation," says Pasha

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