By Mohan Kayaka
Mysore/Mysuru: With hardly any vegetable sellers and buyers seen at the Mini Vegetable Markets (Raitha Santhe) built by MUDA across the city, these markets have turned into a haven for drunkards and others who indulge in illegal activities, thus becoming an eyesore for the public.
MUDA had built more than ten Mini Vegetable Markets various places including Ramakrishnanagar I Block, Kalyangirinagar, Sharadadevinagar and Subramanyanagar in Hebbal third stage, each costing lakhs of rupees, for the benefit of vegetable growers and sellers. But barring a couple of markets, which have been functioning, others have turned into hotspots for illegal activities.
Although the vegetable and fruit markets were built by MUDA, the very purpose seems to have been defeated as many have been left idle, with miscreants taking advantage of it and turning them into hotspots for alcohol consumption and illegal activities. Thanks to the apathy of MUDA, some of the markets have turned into a dilapidated and deplorable state due to poor maintenance over the years.
With most of these markets left idle, drunkards have been using them the most as can be seen with empty and broken liquor bottles lying scattered everywhere in and around the markets. Also, bushes, weeds and plants have occupied the ground space in these markets, thus presenting a picture of utter negligence on the part of the authorities.
Devaraja Market Tenants Association President S. Mahadev blamed the MUDA for failing to carry out publicity for the markets built by it. Noting that although MUDA made several attempts to utilise the markets, its efforts have failed for want of vegetable sellers and buyers, he attributed the sorry state of MUDA markets due to poor publicity and population outreach.
Pointing out that hundreds of fruit and vegetable vendors from villages around the city dot the space around Devaraja Market for carrying out their business, Mahadev said that the MUDA authorities can provide a vending space for roadside sellers and pushcart vendors at these markets, which have a vast space and protection from the vagaries of nature.
This move will largely help in stopping encroachments of footpaths and other public spaces by vendors and also de-congest the space around Devaraja Market and Dufferin Clock Tower in the heart of the city, he added.
Siddu, a vegetable seller said that people are very familiar with Devaraja, Agrahara, Mandi and M.G. Road Markets and most of them do not know that Mini Vegetable Markets built by MUDA at different places in the city do exist.
The MUDA must take measures for popularising these mini-markets and allow small vendors and traders to carry out business from there and thus serve the very purpose for which they were built.
Meanwhile, MUDA Commissioner Dr. D.B. Natesh said that all the Mini-markets built by the MUDA will be inspected shortly for carrying out a study on their present status. Stating that MUDA is mulling on allowing the markets for free to vegetable and fruit farmers, he said that MUDA will take all measures for popularising these markets while also making appropriate use of them.