Monday, June 26, 2006

New face for traditional markets

New face for traditional markets
The TImes of India

Bangalore: Shopping malls in Bangalore will soon be given a run for their money. From unusual suspects — the traditional subzi mandi markets.

Ten markets across the city will be revamped from their present dilapidated condition into swish centrally air-conditioned complexes where you shop not just for vegetables but also clothes, food and trinkets. The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) has embarked on an ambitious plan of revamping the existing traditional century-old market-places and making them more contemporary and user-friendly.

Just sample what’s in store for Malleswaram Market, spread over 1 lakh sq ft: food courts, basement parking, possibly a multiplex, a fountain-square. And the existing vendors would be seated in kiosks selling their wares. The idea is to have a combination of the traditional and the modern, so these vendors would be selling vegetables, fruits and flowers as they have been for decades now, in a contemporary milieu, say BMP authorities. Presently, the market has 200 licencees paying Rs 100 per licence. Once remodelled, civic authorities hope to rake in Rs 10 crore per annum.

The idea has been floating for a while but was galvanised when chief minister HD Kumaraswamy visited the Malleswaram market recently and noted the appaling conditions there. Explains BMP commissioner K Jairaj: “The markets will be upgraded in such a manner that they would be protected from elements like rain. We saw that vendors are never in their stalls, they occupy pavements, and there are still some shops leased long ago. IDeck is presently doing a profile and a detailed plan for ten markets. We will also work on a plan to resettle vendors.’’

To start with, one of the oldest markets, the Sri Krishna Rajendra market has seen work after aeons. The marsh-land paved with cabbage-leaves, slush and leftover produce, has been concertised. The old building will see a new paint facade, the north-side is slated to have a lawn spread over 15,000 sq ft. Yes, a lawn at SKR Market!

Another place to be demolished and remodelled completely is the Johnson market which presently has 77 licencees contributing Rs 1 lakh a year. Even this is slated to be redone on the lines of Malleswaram market.

So, the next time you compare a chaotic place to a market-place, think again! But some things will still continue — haggling with the vegetable vendor!

Malleswaram market: To be remodelled for over Rs 100 crore, centrally A/C, food court, basement parking
Johnson market: To be remodelled completely
Cox Town market: Revamp for Rs 33 lakh
Russel market: The building would not be touched because of its heritage status, renovation to be done for Rs 60 lakh
Gandhi Bazaar: To be demolished and remodelled Cubbonpet market: Renovate and standardise
Krumbigal Road: Market proposed on vacant land Sheshadripuram market: stuck in tender process
R V Market: demolish and remodel the existing market


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