After missing several deadlines over the last one decade, the relocation of Karwan Bazar kitchen market is likely to start in November and move to Aminbazar, Mohakhali and Jatrabari, according to city authorities.
The relocation was supposed to start in 2006, when the plan was adopted by then Dhaka City Corporation to alleviate traffic congestion in the area. But the move never took place as the authorities concerned failed to finish the construction of the new marketplaces, supposedly due to lack of funds, sources told the Dhaka Tribune.
After the bifurcation of Dhaka City Corporation into Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in 2012, the project went to the DNCC, although one of the new locations – Jatrabari – falls under DSCC jurisdiction.
The kitchen market – largest in the country – occupies around 23 bighas, or around 7.6 acres, of area in Karwan Bazar and is surrounded by offices of many government and private organisations, according to city corporation sources.
It comprises both wholesale and retail trades of vegetables, meat, fish, spices and many commodities.
Besides the main market building, there are makeshift shops taking up half the space on the streets surrounding the main market, leaving little space for vehicles to move.
In addition, wholesale traders occupy the streets to unload their produce from trucks and pickup vans – coming from around the country – in the middle of the road at peak hours.
The broken and muddy condition and the pungent smell of rotting waste and dirty water trickling down from the fish stalls make the roads unusable, complained both customers and commuters.
To alleviate this situation, the government decided to relocate the entire market to three different locations in Aminbazar, Mohakhali and Jatrabari.
The Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved a Tk206-crore project in October 2006 to construct markets in the new locations to move the market from Karwan Bazar. The budget was recently revised to Tk331 crore.
When contacted, DNCC Mayor Annisul Haq confirmed that the move was likely to start in November.
“Around 70% of the shops in Karwan Bazar kitchen market will be moved to the new locations by December 31. The market will be completely shifted by April 2017,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
He further said the move was taking place after a successful negotiation between the city authorities and the traders.
When contacted, Md Omar Faruq, general secretary of Karwan Bazar Wholesale Kitchen Market Traders’ Association, reiterated the mayor’s statement.
“The city corporation [DNCC] agreed to meet some of our terms and conditions and we agreed to shift to the new locations,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
The vacated area will be used for a new project which include a shopping mall and a recreation area, Annisul added.