Bengaluru: Vendors and shop owners find it difficult to attract customers due to the delay in the white topping project that has almost blocked the entrances to their establishments.
Reports say, the redevelopment work was undertaken by the Bengaluru Smart City Limited in 2020. Shopkeepers complain that despite paying heavy taxes, their problems are not heard. The shopkeepers say that their business has come down to 25 percent.
Suresh Sirvi, shop owner of Abhishek Fabs, said, “It has been more than one and a half years. We are facing a lot of issues. There is dust that ruins all the products; none of the customers come as there is no place to walk properly, nor can we park our vehicles. We are paying lakhs for rent.” He said it is difficult for him to make ends meet.
Dug-up roads and the rains have led to overflowing drains with foul smell that compels shop owners to close their shops. Praveen Kumar, owner of Sha Ganeshmal Jugraj, said, “My establishment has been here for 60 years; I’ve never been this irritated. I don’t know who to complain, they just put the blame on each other.”
Due to the heavy losses, many smaller establishments have been forced to shut shop. Officials at Bengaluru Smart City Limited said that initially they were blacktopping the road, but due to public demand they shifted to white topping. The previous deadline was March. However, now their new deadline is May 13th.
According to experts, before any construction on a busy road is undertaken, proper planning is necessary. Rajashri Das, an Urban Planner, said, “During construction work, scheduling and timing is very important. Officials should also send notices to the vendors so that they can plan and organize better.”
Shop owners complained that despite several appeals to authorities, they haven’t seen any improvement. They have planned to organize protests and submit appeals to the MLA’s office in the coming week.