K.R. Market to get ‘smart’ makeover
The project taken up by Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. includes escalators, seating areas, and traffic islands
From escalators to drinking water dispensers and from traffic islands to seating areas, the historic Krishna Rajendra Market, also known as K.R. Market, is getting a facelift. Redevelopment and improvement works have been taken up by the Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. (BSCL).
According to BSCL officials, the K.R. Market junction improvement work was taken up in February, while the reconstruction of the dilapidated meat market will be taken up soon.
The work has been taken up with the objective of ensuring seamless connectivity in the area that witnesses high footfall. The junction is an important one and connects S.J.P. Road, N.R. Road, Avenue Road, Kalasipalya Market, and Victoria Hospital.
The work taken up at a cost of ₹17 crore includes bus terminals, two traffic islands, and improvement of subway and plaza area, a BSCL official said. The official added that the theme of traffic islands would be finalised soon. The bus terminal improvement includes two carriageways that will be 220 metres in length and 9 metres in width. The white-topped carriageways will also have RO drinking water facility and obstruction-free footpaths.`
The market junction has six subways, three of which are over 25 years old. The old openings are being repaired, while the six newer ones will have escalators, a first for any market in the city. Water seepage is a problem that has made the subway unusable. This issue is also being tackled, the official said, and added that the work is likely to be completed by November.
The work, which also includes drinking water units/dispensers, toilets, seating area and refuge area in case of emergency situations, has been progressing at a much slower pace than anticipated, said G.M. Divakar, president of K.R. Market Flower Merchants’ Association. He said that if the work was delayed any further, it would affect the livelihood of lakhs of people dependent on the market. “We had sought a proper market approach from the metro station, adequate parking, drinking water and toilets,” he said and added that the vendors had recently met P.C. Mohan, Bengaluru Central MP, about the delay in the work.
Admitting to slow progress of work, Mr. Mohan said that following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, labour was a huge issue as many of them were migrants. After relaxation of lockdown, the situation was likely to improve. He also said that he was closely reviewing the progress of the work to ensure it was completed without any further delay.
Meanwhile, BSCL has finalised the tender for the demolition and reconstruction of the meat market. The work order for the ₹16-crore project has also been handed over to a contractor. Though the demolition of the dilapidated structure is yet to be taken up, the contractor has put up temporary structures to shift the vendors. BSCL officials said that around 60 sheds had already been put up and vendors would be shifted out soon.