Vendors on the main market road in Bengaluru’s Cox Town held placards on Monday addressed to the BBMP Commissioner, and threw vegetables on the street demanding that the shops on this road be handed over to them. This market was built several years ago, but the city's civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has preferred to keep the shops shut, leaving the vendors to toil on the footpath. The vendors decided that enough was enough, and held a symbolic protest.
Visuals show the vendors holding two carts loaded with vegetables, shouting slogans against the BBMP. The protesters then upended one cart full of vegetables, in a symbolic protest against the apathy of the government to their plight.
The Deccan Herald reported that local residents too joined the protest, as non-allocation of the shops had led the vendors to display their wares on the footpath, thereby increasing traffic snarls on the narrow road. Residents added that the dust and pollution raised concerns about safety of the food they buy.
The market was built way back in 2013, but even after a wait of seven years, the shops have not been allotted to the vendors. Instead, the BBMP office went up on the higher floors, and the officials parked their vehicles on the ground floor, as reported in a 2013 story by the Deccan Herald. Meanwhile, the traders of vegetables, meat, sea food and flowers, were forced to vend on the pavement, located just outside the Cox Town hospital, giving rise to health and safety concerns. The hospital is mainly a maternity hospital, which needs a high level of cleanliness in its surroundings.
TNM reached out to the BBMP Commissioner to find out when the shops would be handed over, but received no response.