Ongoing work dulls business at Gandhi Bazaar

Published - November 05, 2022 12:20 am IST - Bengaluru

Developmental works at Gandhi bazar in Basavanagudi  creating  problems for Shopkeepers and traffic in Bengaluru

Developmental works at Gandhi bazar in Basavanagudi creating problems for Shopkeepers and traffic in Bengaluru | Photo Credit: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

Gandhi Bazaar, which is said to have had a history of almost 125 years, has always been known for its distinct charm. In a growing city, there are still lakhs of people who visit the shopping streets there for its unique shopping experience. However, due to the ongoing white topping work on the main road, during this year’s Deepavali, traders were disappointed with the business, as footfall has drastically dropped. 

Gandhi Bazaar main road has been dug up on both sides, leading to shoppers managing a dangerous balancing act over the mound of debris and dirt, especially during rain. Those commuting by vehicles from Ramakrishna Ashrama circle towards Krishna Rao Park face a lot of inconvenience due to frequent traffic snarls. “There has been a 50% reduction of walk-in customers in the past month. When it rains, potential customers stay away because they do not want to wade through puddles and this is a huge loss for the business,” said Deepa, who runs a store on the street.  

Street vendors, who depend on the sales they conduct on the road for their livelihood, have also been affected by the ongoing work as the footpaths are gone. “More than half of the hanathes (earthen lamps) which I had brought this year to sell here, have remained unsold, pushing me into a loss,” said Sarojamma, a street vendor. 

Many local residents and traders are against the idea of white topping and call it unnecessary. “In Gandhi Bazaar, there are trees which are over 75 years old, due to which the water table is maintained very well. This white topping work will harm those trees too. Gandhi Bazaar is a reflection of old Bengaluru. It is not that we are against modernisation, but instead of spending money on white topping, they could provide us the right civic amenities, which includes a complex for street vendors, toilet facilities, a creche and other such useful things,” said N.S. Mukunda of Bengaluru Praja Vedike. He added that multiple meetings with the local MLA as well as the MP were not fruitful as they all went back on their assurances of not taking up the project.  

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