Eight months after a fire ripped through 170 shops in Russel Market, power and water supply to one of the city’s best loved heritage structures is yet to be restored.

Traders here, who said they are fed up of running from pillar to post trying to get back these basic amenities, remain entirely dependent on diesel-run generators.

Rs. 5,000 a day

According to Mohammed Idrees Choudhury, general secretary, Russel Market Traders’ Association, the traders are spending more than Rs. 5,000 every day on the generators. “We are spending more than Rs.1 lakh every month to run the generators and the cold storages in the market. Although the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has approved our demand to restore power supply, we have learnt that objection raised by local elected representatives is preventing Bescom from acting on it.”

He claimed BBMP Commissioner Rajneesh Goel, who inspected the market on Wednesday, was astonished to find that the public utilities had still not supplied power and water to the market.

Issue to be sorted out

Mr. Goel told The Hindu he visited the market to oversee waste segregation, and the traders had brought to his notice about the lack of power and water supply to the building.

“I have learnt from my officials there are certain issues that need to be sorted out. I have asked the traders to submit their representation and I will try to sort out the issues after examining all the aspects.”

Responding to the traders’ appeal to retain the market as a heritage building, Mr. Goel said the BBMP Council would have to take a call on that.

“But my personal opinion is that landmark structures should be retained as heritage buildings.”

Traders hit hard

Mr. Choudhury said the traders were going through tough times following the February 25 fire. “Traders in the fish and mutton market are finding it hard as the cold storages need power supply. Small traders are the worst affected.”

The traders on Wednesday had assured the Commissioner they would cooperate with the BBMP in strictly following waste segregation rules. “We have already started segregation by keeping separate bins for wet and dry waste,” Mr. Choudhury said.

Intervention sought

He pointed out that the traders had requested Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to visit the market and intervene to get their problems solved. “We have been assured he will shortly do so.”

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