The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s proposal to evict guava sellers from the open air guava mandi (yard) has drawn flak, with guava growers staging a protest outside the palike office on Tuesday.
The open yard in K.R. Market where guava growers auction their produce is slated to be closed with shops to be constructed in its place, allege the growers.
Kodihalli Chandrashekar of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha said that shutting the yard would endanger the livelihoods of farmers from several neighbouring districts, who come there every day to sell their produce.
An estimated 15 tonnes of guava are transacted here daily, making Karnataka among the leading States in terms of guava production.
“Small farmers bring produce here as early as 4 a.m. If there is no designated spot for guava farmers, where will they go?” he said, adding that the space allocated for the growers had shrunk over the years. The area that is currently proposed for eviction is a mere 100 ft x 30 ft space, Mr. Chandrashekhar said.
He alleged that the real interest behind the eviction was real estate.
The growers withdrew their protest after both the BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana and Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana met with them and assured that they would not be evicted.