The revamp and modernisation of Bangalore’s first and oldest shopping complex in Jayanagar got off the ground on August 4th. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar laid the foundation stone. Deputy Chief Ministers K S Eshwarappa and R Ashoka, Vijaya Kumar B N (BJP MLA, Jayanagar), BBMP Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy were also present.
The project has been under discussion for four years even as shop owners resisted, fearing loss of their livelihood.
On the day of inauguration, N Narasimha Raju, vice-president of Traders Association of Jayanagar Shopping Complex told Citizen Matters, “We don’t know anything about shopkeepers relocation. No officials from government side spoke to us regarding relocation.” Raju, along with Prakash Mendoth, president of the larger Jayanagar Traders Association, were present at the function.
Addressings shop owners’ worries, S S Kandre, public relation officer, BBMP, said, “The reconstruction will have two phases. In the first phase, we will construct the demolished Puttanna Kanagal theatre to transfer all the shop owners.”
A BDA official reiterated BBMP’s words and assured relocation of the 150 shopkeepers. “The first floor of the rehabilitation block in Puttanna Kanagal theatre is for vegetable vendors and the second for fruit sellers. After the reconstruction of the complex we will shift all the shopkeepers to the new complex, except vegetable sellers,” says Ravi Narayana Reddy, BDA engineer. Vegetable sellers will stay back in the rehabilitation block, he added.
Mendoth is optimistic because he expects no disturbance in normal business. “This time, they have approached us with a plan. There are phases to the project. MLA Vijaykumar has assured everyone will be looked after”, he told Citizen Matters.
The project costs around Rs 250 crores and is supposed to finish within 24 months. Nagarjuna Constructions Company will be doing the project on BOOT basis (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer). The total cost of the project will be carried out by BDA and transfer it to BBMP after 30 years. “60 percent of the total cost will be paid to Nagarjuna during the construction period and the remaining 40 percent will be paid only after the construction,” says Nagaraj.
Two theaters and an auditorium of capacity 1500 people will be part of the new complex. It will also have parking facilities for 750 four wheelers and 2000 two wheelers.⊕