We Need More Santhes Not Malls
Only the freshest produce is sold here and there’s no fear of dodgy expiry dates. The city’s santhes (weekly markets) have for long been catering to communities, especially those belonging to the middle and lower middle class, besides creating jobs.
Hundreds of people took out a rally from the K.R. Puram Market to Freedom Park under the aegis of the All-State Farmers and Traders’ Federation in Bangalore on Wednesday, demanding that more santhes be opened in the city, especially in the outlying areas.
Federation president Yele Srinivas V. that with malls mushrooming everywhere, the cultural fabric of society was being [threatened]. “When Kempe Gowda founded the city, he made provisions for santhes and special localities for certain trades were formed. These days, however, there is an increase in the number of supermarkets and malls, while the neighbourhood markets and grocery shops are vanishing,” he said.
Agriculture sector provides employment both directly and indirectly and there are farmers dependent on santhes to sell their produce. “These santhes help not just the farmers and traders but they also help consumers. Not everybody can shop in supermarkets and malls. The santhes also provide revenue in the form of tax to the government,” he said.
Mr. Srinivas charged that the malls and supermarkets had become centres of exploitation of youngsters from lower economic backgrounds. “The city needs at least another 50 santhes and the government should provide land for them. This will improve the local economy and create jobs,” he said.
A delegation met Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy and submitted a memorandum demanding space for new santhes.
Mr. Murthy reportedly assured them of earmarking land wherever available and recommended areas near the Ring Road.
The federation plans to raise its demand with Revenue Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, Home Minister R. Ashok and Minister for Urban Development S. Suresh Kumar.