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Park Circus market stall shift plan for repair

Stall owners will be allotted a space from where they will operate till the dilapidated building is restored

Kinsuk Basu | Published 05.07.22, 06:16 AM
The building of the Park Circus market needs thorough repairs.

The building of the Park Circus market needs thorough repairs.

File picture

Around 400 stall owners of the old and crumbling Park Circus market in south Kolkata will have to be shifted out of the three-storey building to make way for a thorough renovation, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) proposed on Monday.

Stall owners will be allotted a space from where they will operate till the dilapidated building is restored and they are brought back, civic officials told members of the Park Circus market committee at a meeting to discuss short and long-term measures for repairs.

The immediate trigger for the meeting was the injury of a 56-year-old stall owner after a chunk of concrete fell on him near shop number 13 in the B block of the market around 8.30am on Monday.

“A small portion of the cornice, measuring 1ftX1.5ft, of the second floor of the market suddenly collapsed. Mohammad Bilal, a resident of Karaya Road, was injured,” said a senior officer of Karaya police station.

“He was rushed to the Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital and was later discharged.”

Eyewitnesses said Bilal was preparing to open his shop when the chunk fell on his head.

In the aftermath of the accident, many visitors chose to wear helmets fearing collapse of more concrete chunks. Stall owners remained panic-stricken. 

“The building of the Park Circus market needs thorough repairs. We did some repairs in 2019. But there is a need for an overhaul. We have proposed to the market committee to weigh the possibility of shifting the traders till we can complete the repairs,” Amiruddin (Bobby), mayoral council member of the KMC in charge of markets, told Metro.

“We will start repairs on Tuesday to address some of the areas. This will be a short-term measure.”

Civic officials said that apart from the 400 stall owners, there were some 144 squatter-vendors in the market. The KMC had spent around Rs 1.06 crore for maintaining the building in 2019. But that was not enough, officials admitted.

Spread across five bighas, the Park Circus market was at the centre of a public-private partnership project that was initiated by the civic board to modernise a few KMC markets in 2008. Subsequently, the deal with Reliance fell through.

Earlier this year, the civic board had proposed to introduce maintenance fees for stall owners of its 40-odd markets to meet growing expenses. Traders of the Park Circus market and several other civic markets opposed the suggested rates.

“The issue of paying maintenance fee is being deliberated upon. But we have decided to take up the proposal of shifting the stall owners of the Park Circus market. A meeting will be convened shortly,” said Tapas Kumar Mukherjee, general secretary of the Traders Federation of Kolkata Municipal Markets.

“There is enough space within the Park Circus market where temporary stalls can be set up for the traders during the renovation.”

A section of traders said the market lacked basic facilities, including adequate dispensers of drinking water, clean washrooms and proper drainage system.

Last updated on 05.07.22, 06:16 AM
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