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Lansdowne traders to soon reopen shops

Shankar Bennur
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The shopkeepers have been out of business for nearly four months now

Completed:The temporary shops that have been set up in front ofLansdowne building in Mysore.
Completed:The temporary shops that have been set up in front ofLansdowne building in Mysore.

Business may resume soon near the 120-year-old Lansdowne building, which was declared out of bounds after a portion of the structure collapsed in August killing four persons.

Building tenants, most of them shopkeepers who have been out of business for nearly four months now, had set up makeshift shops opposite the building, as they waited for the heritage structure to be restored.

The Mysore City Corporation (MCC), the building’s caretaker, approved their proposal to set up temporary shops in the space adjoining Thathaiah park.

Rehabilitation

As many as 97 tenants, most of them books and stationery shopkeepers, apart from some advocates and DTP centre owners, were affected when the building was closed until safety concerns were addressed.

Some traders opened shops at alternative places.

According to M.R. Ravi, MCC Commissioner, the decision to allow the temporary structures was taken as part of efforts to rehabilitate the traders. “After a feasibility study and consent of traders to abide by the MCC’s conditions, we allowed them to set up the stalls. Fifty-one shops were set up and permission had been sought for setting up a few more. We had told the traders to resume business during Deepavali. They might resume business this month,” he said.

Self-financed

Dr. Ravi said each temporary shop was built at a cost of around Rs. 35,000. “The MCC has only played the role of a facilitator, it has not spent anything.”

The tenants had been told to pay ground rent to the MCC. “Whatever rent they were paying for shops at the building, the same rent is applicable for the makeshift shops,” he said.

Traders, some of whom had more than two shops in the old building, wanted to set up more along the road. Permission would be given only after inspection, the MCC Commissioner said.

Besides, alternative space in the vicinity was being explored, as the MCC wanted all traders to be rehabilitated, he added.

Restoration

On the restoration of the building, Dr. Ravi said a group of technical experts, led by C.S. Vishwanath, chief of Torsteel Research Foundation, was preparing a detailed project report. “After submission of the report it will be presented to the government for further action.”

“The experts have recommended that the roof and walls of the first floor be demolished and a new floor built without harming the original architecture of the building,” he said.

He added that the estimated cost of renovation was Rs. 3.5 crore.


  • MCC gives consent after conducting feasibility study

  • ‘Shopkeepers have to pay the same rent as before’


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