Bangalore Santhe struggles for survival

The Bangalore Santhe is located near S.V. Road Metro Station.

The Bangalore Santhe is located near S.V. Road Metro Station.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain / The Hindu

BMRCL plans to rope in the skill development department to revive the marketplace

When the Bangalore Santhe, or village market, opened in May 2013, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) had hoped that the almost 750-metre stretch on either side of S.V. Road Metro Station would become a popular landmark in the city, along the lines of the Dilli Haat. However, it received a lukewarm response from the public.

In the last five years little has improved. The Santhe, which aimed to showcase and encourage trade in traditional arts and crafts, struggles to attract visitors.

The Bangalore Santhe has 63 stalls, of which only 30 are operational. Rent is collected on a daily basis. The amount ranges from ₹100 to ₹500 depending on the size the shop. Some of the shops, located in ‘B’ zone, remain shut on Sundays due to poor patronage.

Shopkeepers are asking the BMRCL and other government agencies to come up with measure to revive the place and increase footfalls.

“The infrastructure is good and well-maintained. However, lack of footfalls is a worrying factor. Hardly anyone comes here on weekdays. On weekends, we get three to four visitors. We have been asking the BMRCL to do something about this,” said a shopkeeper.

They attribute the failure of the Santhe to its less-than-ideal location. For one, it’s not located in CBD areas where people gather in large numbers. The other issues are parking problems and accessibility.

“The general public do not know that an arts and crafts marketplace exists under the viaduct of the Metro. There is no access to the shops from the main road. Visitors have to park their vehicles in the parking lot located on the opposite side of the road. We put banners to attract customers, but they were removed,” said another shopkeeper.

The BMRCL is now planning to rope in the skill development department to use the available resources to train artisans, market their products and hold exhibitions.

BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth said, “The Bangalore Santhe, on the lines of Dilli Haat, was opened to promote local artisans and their work. We are aware of the fact that it is not attracting visitors, and are working to promote it.”

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:28:30 PM |

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