K.R. Puram trades

This case gives the brief history and trades involved.

Krishnarajpuram lies on the eastern part of Bangalore city. A large number of higher, middle and lower level income group is living in this area. Most of them are SC/ST’s, naidu, baligiga & gowda communities are living in Krishnarajpuram. The original settlers of Krishnarajpuram are SC/ST’s and naidu communities. The people living here are mainly depending upon the trading and other small business activities.

Krishnarajapuram houses large numbers of small scale industries at one side creating more job opportunities for the unskilled labourers living within the localities and at other side big industrials and technology park creating employment opportunities for skilled jobs, most of the people working in the big industries and technological park are the skilled migrants from the neighboring states.

Krishna raja puram market has its own history of 150 years. In the olden days the village common land is used for weekly market ‘Santhe’, which was allowed to function weekly ones within the radius of 4-5 kilometer. There were around 4 acres of land for santhe.

The importance of santhe is to support the farmers to market their produce grown in their land at the local level with less transport and other costs involved in marketing, which still exists in some parts of city. The common trading was held weekly one day at different locations on different days, but at present it has become a regular market for hawkers who trade every day on the santhe place. Two major group of hawkers are still hawking in krishanarajapuram from its inception i.e. K.G.F/Bangarapet and malur hawkers they are involved in trading dry fish, vegetables, pulses and grains etc. In the initial stage only 9 families were hawking in Krinarajapuram market now it has been increased radically.

The Krishnaragpuram panchayat auctions the santhe land to collect the tax from hawkers. The tenderer who takes the tender collects the tax of Rs.2 from each hawker and farmers. The panchayat was providing stone and sheds for the hawkers to protect the goods.

His grand parents was trading in Krishnarajpuram santhe – 150 years, then his mother started through his mother he entered into hawking since 40 years.

In the year 1973 the block development office constructed 20 shops on the main road measuring 10*15 each shop. The block development office was collecting rent of Rs.15/- per shop. Till 1985 these shops was incharge of BDO from 1985 onwards pura sabha (town panchayat) was incharge of collecting rent. Before town panchayat the shops was under the control of ITI sanitary board. BDO allotted one shop to Muniappa and he was paying the rent of Rs.15/- per month.

In 1985 behind the santhe, one slum was started and the slum dwellers started putting the petty shops on both the main roadside, and most of the families were also living in the shop. When these petty shops came into existence the business of the 20 shopkeepers reduced. In the year 1996-97 the government provided stone slabs to santhe hawkers this was one of the reasons for increase in hawkers and again his business reduced. As the business was reduced he discontinued his hawking for some time, because his investment was increased and the profit reduced. E.g. if he invest Rs.200/- he will get Rs.100/- as profit before but now he gets only below Rs.50/-.

When the old madras road was widen during 1993-94 again the total santhe place was reduced and business gone down. He could not get good location to hawk and also he was getting less profit and more investment was need.

He decided to start own business i.e. he purchase goods from mandi directly and distribute to wholesale and retailers hawkers in Krishnarajpuram market, the remain goods was store in his house. After few years instead buying goods from agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) he started buying directly from the farmers. As he was one of the senior hawkers in santhe he has his own hawking place to sell the goods. He does hawking from 5.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. all days. The wholesale, retailers, consumers and pushcart vendors purchase from him.

Later the 20 shops constructed on the main road were demolished due to road widening.

When Janatha Dal Party came to power in 1993, Mr. Ashwathnarayanareddy was elected as APMC president and he was also an MLA of that constituency. The 9th planning commission has allotted some budget for local developments; this budget was utilized for construction of 112 shops for rents. And the allotment of shops was through lottery basis, because every one wants main location. The shops was rented for hawkers on monthly rental basis by imposing certain conditions on the shopkeepers. i.e. In case if the shops are not utilized by the shopkeepers the shops will go back to CMC. Even today Muniappa is not doing business in the shop because the location is not suitable for hawking.

Muniappa pay Rs.5/- as tax to the CMC for the santhe place, and Rs.750/- rent for the shop. He belongs to ganiga-chetty community. He has good rapport with the local corporators, political parties and leaders in the santhe which helps him during crisis.

During 90’s one more interesting issues is earlier I mentioned in the surrounding areas many more small scale industries and the unskilled labour was depending on these industries for employment. Now the government authorities concentrating only on infrastructure for IT companies, so these IT companies are getting more facilities from the government on the other side the small scale industries are closing because they are not getting proper facilities like power, water etc. The small scale workers are becoming construction coolies and hawkers. Due to this the krishnarajapuram market has become one of the sources of livelihood for the small scale industries labour.

In 2002 again the National Highway Authority widened the old madras road because in the surrounding areas many IT/ITES companies are growing as the road was very narrow and lot of traffic conjunctions was more. So they planned to widen the road to control the deconjunction. Now again the hawking place has been reduced, many hawkers could not get place again they went to construction coolies. Even the number of hawkers has reduced drastically.


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