Due to the contractor’s strike all work has stopped at the food street, resulting in debris lying around and financial losses to the stall owners.
Construction has ceased at Vishweshwarapura’s (VV Puram) famous food street known as ‘Thindi Beedi’. Stall owners and consumers, alike have been affected.
Azad Kumar, a stall owner said that it has been over six months since the construction started but still has not been completed. The debris litters the street. Kumar said, “Footfall of people is still not as much as before, therefore we are still not earning as much as we used to earn earlier,”
Contractors have stopped working on the site because the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has not released payments. Mr Rajesh S.V. chief engineer of (BBMP) South said that most of the work has already been done, only the last finishing touches are left but the delay is occurring because contractors are still on strike. He added, “Just three more weeks are required to complete the construction work and remove all the debris.”
The release of payment was stopped by the new government to verify the work done under the previous government, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar made this announcement.
The shop owners are unhappy over the delay in completing the road as they witness a fall in visitors. “We now hardly believe in the promises of the timeline of completion given by the BBMP, god knows when they will complete it,” said Bhole, a paan shop owner.
Food stall owners are not the only ones who are affected by the construction and its debris but the frequent visitors of the food street are also facing challenges. Akshay, a college student said, “I come here often, this time I came with my non-Bangalorean friends to show them how cheap and tasty food is here but seriously prices have gone up.” He added that he doesn’t know what kind of renovation is going on as there is no place to stand or sit and eat and all you can see is garbage in front of all the stalls.
Meanwhile, Darsh a worker in a large food stall said that the prices of raw materials have increased so it is natural that the cost of the dish will also increase. Apart from that he added, “Footfall has been less since the past few months, it’s just this week that few customers have started to visit again.”
Building or renovation of infrastructure such as roads requires very efficient planning. Mr Raghav, an expert in civil engineering and urban planning said, 50 per cent of the job is already done by conducting a better survey.. A road should be planned accounting for human errors and natural disruptions and the builders should do the job with least harm to the inhabitants of the place, he said.
He added, “The more recon and survey planning, the lesser time it will take to complete the project.” The project can only be made successful with public assistance. Mr Raghav further added, “Public co-operation is also very necessary in the construction of the roads.”
The iconic food street is 200 meters long and 5 feet wide consisting of 37 food stalls. It runs between Sajjan Rao Circle and RV Road. The makeover of this street was started in December 2022 and it was reported to be completed by August 15th, 2023.