SYLHET, Sept 17: The Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) would demolish its Hawkers Market in the city's busy commercial area of Laldighirpar with a view to constructing a multistoried market in place of the existing dilapidated one. Accordingly, tender notice for dismantling all the 4 blocks had been floated through newspapers.
Elected in 2013, SCC Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury initiated the venture months after his being sworn in, but things couldn't be proceeded as he was indicted in Kibria killing case and was suspended soon after.
The SCC recently decided to go ahead with the initiative again, but the shop owners have already protested the move. At a rally on September 9, they called upon the authority for cancelling the bidding process.
They alleged the authority had floated the tenders through newspaper advertisements without consulting the shopowners who had bought their shops from the then Sylhet Municipality. It was later upgraded into a city corporation in 2002.
Laldighirpar Dokan Malik Samity also demanded for cancelling the decision for dismantling the market as over 2000 shopowners would face trouble due to sudden suspension of their trade. They would throw agitation pogramme soon to press their just demand, they asserted.
The traders also called another meeting on the market on 17 September afternoon to protest the SCC's move. The authority should have discussed the issue with the shopowners, the traders added.
Official sources informed the SCC floated newspaper notice for bidding as they had decided for rebuilding the worn out market, built unplanned in the 1980s and 90s. Over 2000 small traders were allotted with the shops there during the last 2 decades while a good number of shops remained abandoned yet. However, there had been allegations of large scale irregularities in the construction of the narrow market blocks.
CEO of the city corporation Enamul Habib said the existing shopowners would get preference on the new one.
The SCC floated tender for dismantling 80,724 sq feet area on the ground floor and 77,727 sq feet on first floor on block 'A' while 59,660 sq feet area each on both the ground and on the first floor on block 'B' and 3,323 sq feet on its second floor..
It is 75,294 sq feet on ground floor and same area on the first floor while 1454 sq feet on second floor on block 'C'.
It is 90,705 sq feet on both ground and first floor and 10,954 sq feet on the second floor of block 'D' on the existing market.