A day after the demolition at the Malleswaram New Market here on Saturday, the affected shopkeepers appear to have picked up the pieces and reorganised themselves into their smaller stalls on the same premises.
A large hole in the ground gapes in place of the stall owned by Thangavelu M. who vended a variety of local and imported fruits. People were still cleaning up and retrieving plastic baskets from the rubble on Sunday.
Thangavelu (70), who owns stall 1B, was in hospital getting his varicose veins treated when the demolition took place.
His previously expansive stall is now crammed into a smaller area, with broken tin sheets provided by the authorities.
The letter from the BBMP informing the vendors of the demolition, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, was issued on February 27. But it was delivered to the vendors only at 4 p.m. on Friday, says Thangavelu. He also says he and his family could not read Kannada, and thus were not prepared.
The pay-and-use toilets on the premises were also razed. A set of new toilets has been erected, but it did not have water and electricity till Sunday evening, Manju S., caretaker of the previous toilet complex, said.
Additionally, the new toilets do not have booths marked for use by men and women, posing trouble to the women workers in the market.
“We need separate, clearly marked bathrooms; we don’t know which are for men and which for women,” says vendor Lakshmi G.
Meanwhile, Thangavelu and Shanmugham, the owner of the other stall, estimate huge losses, to the tune of Rs. 35,000. “The mangoes and kiwifruit softened, and I had to throw them away,” says Shanmugham.
Thangavelu has had his stall at the same spot for over 40 years, and is a familiar face with the area’s residents. Indeed, concerned citizens and regulars at the market stopped by to enquire his well-being.
“I saw the news and immediately hurried down here,” said Shubha Rao, whose family has frequented Thangavelu’s stall for many years.