Berhampur July 3: The Baikuntha Nagar vending zone, which was proposed by the Berhampur Municipal Corporation to rehabilitate about 300 vegetable vendors who were evacuated from Gate Bazar 10 months ago, is yet to see the light of the day.
About 104 small vegetable traders, who had opened their kiosks on Bogulla Street connecting City Hospital Road and Raghunath Temple Street in Gate Bazar, were shifted to Baikuntha Nagar on September 23 last year.
“We agreed to shift from Gate Bazar as the market was creating traffic congestion there and the civic body and the district administration assured us of proper resettlement,” said 55-year-old Krushna Chandra Panda.
The civic body has not yet developed the proposed vending zone at Baikuntha Nagar. “Not a single kiosk has been constructed. Also, there is no approach road and water facility. We have constructed a narrow kutcha road at our own cost,” said vendors’ union president Santosh Subudhi.
On the other hand, executive engineer of Berhampur Municipal Corporation Asim Mishra said the vending zone could not come up as the vendors were yet to pay their share of Rs 40,000 for the construction of each kiosk. “We are ready to construct all the kiosks within two months of receiving the money,” he said.
Vendor Panda, however, said: “After relocating from Gate Bazar, our business has fallen by almost 75 per cent. In such a situation, we cannot pay Rs 40,000 as that is too high an amount for us.”
Vendors’ union secretary Satya Narayan Panigrahi demanded an alternate place at the back side of the additional district medical officer’s quarters for the vegetable market. “The site of the proposed vending zone at Baikuntha Nagar is underdeveloped and no one is keen to develop the area,” he said.