City Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana’s pet project of cleaning K.R. Market, one of the oldest markets in the city, took off on Monday, as scheduled.

Nearly 500 students from A.P.S. (Acharya Patha Shala) institutions joined hands with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to clean the place. The spring cleaning drive prompted Mr. Sathyanarayana, Bangalore South MP H.N. Ananth Kumar, Deputy Mayor Indira, and a few BBMP councillors to pick up brooms themselves and get into the act. They donned black T-shirts for the purpose. However, their role seemed to end soon after photojournalists took their pictures.

The students were made to stand at the market for nearly two hours in the morning. They were reportedly asked to gather at the market at around 7 a.m., while the drive began only at around 9 a.m. Sources said that two students lost consciousness after standing in the heat for a long time.

The market will be cleaned every Monday, as announced by Mr. Sathyanarayana. The officials claimed that the cleaning went on till noon. Around 25 teams were formed with 25 students in each team, assisting the BBMP’s staff, pourakarmikas and gangmen.

The drive was kicked off by city in-charge and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who appreciated the initiative. He urged the shop owners and vendors to maintain cleanliness in the market, especially after the spring cleaning drives end.

Addressing the students and the shop owners, Mr. Sathyanarayana said that he was happy that students from his alma mater were participating in the drive. “I had announced that the spring cleaning would be taken up every Monday. I am happy that it has begun. More organisations and educational institutions will be roped in to assist the BBMP in this activity,” he said.

Ms. Indira noted that the drive is expected to motivate the student community across the city to join hands with the BBMP in this initiative.

T.B. Maruthi, Chairman, APS institutions, was present.

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