Gandhi Bazaar vendors resist temporary sheds, insist on written assurance they won’t be shifted

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BENGALURU: Gandhi Bazaar is one of the important commercial hubs in the city and is known for its bustling market activity all round the year. During festivals, there is much activity as there are a number of restaurants, banks, garment stores and shops selling puja item.

However the traders are disappointed with the ongoing white topping work on the main road. Recently, the Palike provided temporary sheds to accommodate 35 shops which is placed on the middle of the road, but traders are not willing to shift their shops.

Temporary sheds were provided for street vendors, but they are unwilling to move.

Most of customers have stopped visiting the stalls for a few months now due to lack of parking facilities and business has drastically dropped. Now, the vendors on the Gandhi Bazaar Main Road have threatened politicians that unless they get a written assurance from the authorities that they will not be shifted, they will not budge.

Shankar, a vendor, said, “Sheds were set up in the middle of the road. If someone removes them overnight, where will we sit? During summer, flowers don’t remain fresh for long. If they promise new shed where we are conducting business and give it writing, we are ready to vacate our shops. Unless there is security to our stall, how can we leave the business? The sheds were set up two months ago, but I never went there. No one is ready listen to our woes”.

Shopkeepers Shankar and Naveen Kumar in Gandhi Bazaar

Naveen Kumar, who runs a flower business, said, “We will not shift to the new shed until we get a promise letter. The BBMP did not inform us to shift, but the Smart City project engineers are forcing us to shifting our business. The election is also near and whom should we believe? Now people are started raising question about incomplete work. We will all teach a lesson to the people’s representatives, for sure”.

Chickpet MLA Uday Garudachar said the intention is that vendors have a shelter until the work is completed.

Chickpet MLA Uday Garudachar, who spoke on the delay in the Gandhi Bazaar road work, said, “The government has no intention to hit poor people and we will provide good facilities to the street vendors. Separate sheds were set up for them to shift their business until the Gandhi Bazaar Main Road work is completed. Now, the street vendors have started to sell flowers and fruits there, they have not been disturbed. I visit the place almost every day and the construction work is going on in full swing. Once the parking lot is completed, traders will get more space to carry out their business”.

On the demand for a written assurance, he said, “It may be lead some controversy as no one has a correct figure of the number of traders. The BBMP has no other objection”.

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