Vol. 4 Num 36 Wed. July 02, 2003  
Star City

New market replaces old

Construction of a new kitchen market is underway on the Inner Circular Road near the AGB colony.

The Motijheel Kanchabazaar Small Business Shamabay Shamity Ltd., which has been looking after the AGB colony kitchen market since 1990, is building around hundred shops made of bricks on the spot adjacent to the AGB Colony market where some destitute people had been running a temporary bazaar for nearly two years.

The kitchen market is popularly known as Bou Bazaar as most of its customers are female. This tin-shed market also does brisk business because it is the main source of everyday cooking needs for nearly fifty thousand inhabitants of the AGB colony and nearby areas.

But controversy has arisen with the construction of the new market. Some allege that the local ward commissioner has evicted the poor people who had been earning a living through the temporary market in order to cash in on the business potential of the area.

The commissioner however claimed that the market was closed down for sewerage work, which became absolutely necessary.

"We have dismantled the temporary kitchen market for repairing the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC)'s drainage system which was in a bad condition," said Commissioner Harun.

The construction of the new market is being done under the auspices of Motijheel Kanchabazar Small Business Shamabay Shamity Ltd.

"We are building it from our own funds after obtaining the permission from the DCC," said president of the Shamity, Salam Talukdar.

But the unfortunate people whose businesses got destroyed, are passing days in uncertainty wondering whether they will have any space in the new kitchen market. Their fears are compounded by rumors that Commissioner Harun and the Shamity were allotting shops to their own people.

Harun however, brushed aside the allegation.

"We have not finished the construction of the market yet. Once completed, it will be handed over to the people who had lost their businesses, on a priority basis. We are keeping a separate space for the destitute people," said the commissioner.

Recently, the construction of the new kitchen market came under inquiry of the Estate Department of DCC.

"We have done an inquiry on the situation and sent the reports to the high authority. We will verify the claims so that the actual victims are allotted shops," said chief estate officer Fazluzzoha.

Some residences of AGB colony are not happy with the kitchen market in their area. "There are two kitchen markets near AGB colony, in Fakirapool and Shantinagar. The kitchen market on the road beside AGB colony is creating environmental pollution. It also hampers civic amenity of the residential area," said a residence of AGB colony.

DCC gave permission for the market only on a temporary basis. "So far the market has not been constructed in re-enforced cement concrete (RCC) -- it is still temporary. If required we would get back the road," said the chief estate officer Fazluzzoha.