K.R. Market vendors now take matters into their own hands

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Bangalore, October 24:   Finally, vendors and traders of K.R. Market got their hands dirty and cleaned the market themselves on Wednesday.

Five weeks after the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) roped in college students to clean the market weekly and create awareness about responsible waste disposal, the market continues to be dirty. That apart, a few traders reportedly misbehaved with students participating in the most recent clean-up drive, much to the chagrin of Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana, who initiated the programme.

Speaking to presspersons here, the Mayor said he had directed the traders to rope in their children, as many vendors and traders continued to litter even as students were cleaning the market. “They will not litter if their children come to the market and request them and others not to litter. The children will distribute pamphlets to create awareness.”

He also requested BBMP officials to participate in the clean-up drive.
‘Will cooperate’

Meanwhile, G.M. Divakar, president of the Bangalore Flower Merchants’ Association, hailed the initiative. He said all 1,276 shopkeepers participated in the drive on Wednesday.

He added that they would cooperate with the BBMP on the cleaning drive. “However, the BBMP must first solve our problems. We have already apprised BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan and Mr. Sathyanarayana of these issues,” he said.

Mr. Divakar complained that BBMP officials do not monitor garbage clearance. Garbage was lifted irregularly by the contractor and the basement had not been cleared for months, he said. “The BBMP is spending Rs. 30 lakh a month to clear garbage from the market. Yet, there is no monitoring of the clearance. Even the pourakarmikas have not been given their salaries by the contractor. Why does the BBMP not cancel payment when this is the case?” he asked.

He also alleged that officials were hand-in-glove with certain traders who had set up shops illegally in the passageways and corridors, blocking light and air flow. Though this had been brought to authorities’ notice, trade licence of illegal shops had not been cancelled.

There is no gate or security at the market either. “If these issues are solved, we are ready to keep the market spic and span,” Mr. Divakar added.

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