The traders of the Jayanagar Market know all too well what those of Russell Market are going through.
For, more than four years ago, their livelihood took a beating when a major fire raged through, gutting 70 shops.
To this day, traders of Jayanagar Market continue to risk their lives every day as they continue with their business inside the fire-damaged structure.
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which owns the market, promised them in June 2008 that work on the market's reconstruction would commence in three months.
Business as usual
N. Mukund from Citizens' Action Forum, who lives in the area, said the plan has been in cold storage since then. “Flammable material continues to be dumped in the market. Shopkeepers have drawn their own power lines and there is no security,” he said.
BBMP officials say Jayanagar Market is one of the four handed over to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for reconstruction.
The BDA proposes to develop a complex with basement parking and four floors at a cost of Rs. 115 crore. It will house the Regional Transport Office, Puttanna Kanagal cinema, railway booking centre, Janata Bazaar, cold storages, Cauvery Handicraft Emporium, Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation outlet and BBMP offices.
The tender was floated thrice.
Mr. Mukund blamed the delay on “bureaucratic hurdles”.
“There must be something wrong with the tender conditions. I fail to understand why contractors would not participate if they were in order,” he said.
Engineer member B.T. Chikkarayappa said that when the BDA floated the tender for the first time around six months ago, there was no response. It was floated again two months ago. Of the three responses, two were disqualified on technical grounds. “We could not go ahead with just one tender, as this is against the rules. The last date for the third call was March 1.”