KR Market Meat Sellers: Palike Plan Will rob our Livelihood

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But say moving out for a few months is OK.

Bengaluru, April 9, 2019: Meat vendors in KR Market are unwilling to shift their stalls ahead of the BBMP’s Smart City project.

As a part of the project, KR Market will be renovated and get waste-management and parking facilities. The BBMP has proposed to shift the meat sellers to the main market until the renovation work is completed. The work is expected to start in July.

“We haven’t received any notice so far. But we wouldn’t be happy to shift. We have already lost business because of poor waste management. Shifting to a new area would further affect our business as people may not know our new location. The BBMP has cleaned the surrounding areas and has provided water facility. I am not sure, but there is barely any space left. We are happy about the project, but it shouldn’t take much time to get implemented,” Jowhar Pasha, a meat vendor, informed The Observer.

The BBMP has decided to upgrade KR Market at a cost of Rs 49.5 crore. The work includes the demolition and construction of new buildings, enhancing pathways for pedestrians, and building a parking facility and a bus terminus.

“We plan to demolish and reconstruct the entire meat market in the same place. We will temporarily shift them somewhere in the main market. The vendors have to adjust till the renovation is complete,” GP Suresh, BBMP chief engineer, informed The Observer.

But the meat vendors claim the BBMP did not consult them before making the plan.

“Nobody spoke to us about this. We will talk to our association leaders and decide once we get any notification about shifting. We have been doing our business for more than 25 years. We will have poor sales if we shift. People were hesitant to come earlier because of the foul smell from garbage. The BBMP cleaned it up recently. But we don’t know why they did so if they wanted to demolish the place,” Imran Ahmed, a meat vendor, said.

Fish seller Abdul Rahim said: “It is OK to shift for three months. But it would be difficult if the time exceeds that. We welcome such moves, but the government should have consulted us. We are here for more than 30 years. Shifting would hit our sales. I hope the project ensures cleanliness in the surroundings, as people feel disgusted to step in.”

The sellers are also unhappy about the time BBMP will take to complete the work.

“Most BBMP projects tend to slow down after a few months of commencement. It is OK to adjust for a few months, but official should speak about the completion time. Often they exceed the allotted time or even run out of funds. We are ready to shift, but that shouldn’t affect our livelihood,” says an angry meat vendor who didn’t wish to be named.

According to a report in The Times of India, KR Market renovation plans made headlines in the past too. There was little progress on the ground. In March 2019, the paper wrote: “Now that tenders have been floated, the authorities must assuage the concerns of vendors who have stalled attempts to redo the structure as they fear displacement and loss of livelihood.”

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