Competition at door-step!

I was at this mess of a place called Gandhi Bazaar last weekend. Alarming levels of encroachment apart (separate post on that), I just had to take a snap of this very interesting setup. What is a good title here? Organized vs unorganized retail in a stand-off? Old and new India living together? I thought “competition at doorstep” sounded better.
Wonder how many FabMall shoppers prefer picking vegetables from the competition instead. They must be selling cheaper due to this huge cost advantage – no rents to pay – right? Or, for all you know, this FabMall may have stopped carrying veggies by now.

And talking of ‘rents’, you got to see the next photograph. You must!

While clicking around encroached pavements in the area, I got lucky and caught a cop in the act! I had to click the snap from a distance (didn’t want any panga), so it isn’t as sharp and clear. Find a bright red spot I marked near the center of this photo? There is a cop standing there. He was negotiating rents with a couple of fruit vendors who had their mobile carts parked on the street. I heard numbers like 120 and 150.


Now you know why things are the way they are and why we are headed towards stuff like the sealing mess everywhere :)

8 Comments so far

  1. rubic_cube (unregistered) on November 12th, 2006 @ 10:09 pm

    Great post, Sb. Yes, its the law makers that in cahoots with the law breakers. We talk about the aam junta getting its act straight as far as their attitude, honesty and integrity is concerned. From this pic, it is clear that the law makers are not concerned enough to set an example themselves. I hope someone at the Commissioner’s office get to read this post and do something about it.

  2. Bangles (unregistered) on November 12th, 2006 @ 11:51 pm

    Ha! I remember making the same observation when I was there this summer! Who had the better veggies :-) and fruits? It sure is a nice bazaar. No comments about the second picture.

  3. M O H A N (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 10:55 am


    Yes, some time back all the vege sellers of Gbazar ganged up and beat down Greens & Grains which specalizes in only veges/fruits but sold lesser then these hooligans!. THis is just opposite to where you have clicked photo1.

    Just go down the main road of gandhi bazar, the ramakrishna mutt cirlce. Here you can notice a problem of different sort. First the hanumanthanagar cop comes, takes mammul and asks the vendor to stand on the opposite side of the road ( that side belongs to chamrajepet station you see ). Next comes the chamrajpet PC , exorts and ask them to get back to hanumanthanagar side.

    Long live corruption and india!

    We need to seal the police stations, RTO’s, Registration authorities of all sorts and then we MAY stand a chance.


  4. silkboard (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

    Rubic_Cube, its ‘us and them’ screwing things together for mutual gains. Seems like this ‘circle’ can only be broken via citizen initiated legal action (like in Delhi).

    Bangles – street vendors had the better veggies, and cheaper too. That is the reason everyone is okay letting public footpaths go.

    Mohan – so right. you know it all, don’t you! That is how it works. Pay some to the cop, some to the Municipality folks. And in some cases, some to the goons. And you will get some public space to do your business.

    But, if the city govt comes down to cleaning these things up, ‘socialism’ is what comes to everyone’s minds first. Law, or honoring it is never first on anyone’s minds.

    Alright, a need is apparent for more grocery stores. There is a shortage of commercial space in the area. So go plan some. But instead of doing that to unclog places like Gandhi Bazaar, I bet BDA will end up making a new flyover right over the area.

    Our cities are in big-time mess, mostly due to things like encroachment, zonal violations and all that – stuff that we still don’t think of as “crime”.

  5. sri (unregistered) on November 13th, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

    So, the Gandhi Bazaar footpath vendors have been around for decades; long before “fabmalls”, “green giants” and such. It adds to the charm of the place. Honestly, I dont mind their presence on the footpath (in any case its too late to relocate them now).
    And encroachment is not by these poor vendors (who’ve been around forever), but by the millions of (complaining) people who have descended onto the city.

  6. namma nadu (unregistered) on November 14th, 2006 @ 10:01 am

    I was wondering why cops are so corrupt. Apparently, they have ‘targets’, a share of which goes all the way to the top including our ‘IAS / IPS WALLAHS’ and ofcourse the Politicians (Generally the ones in power). So, the cop manning Upparpet has a higher target (of course with a little bit of siphoning to retain his ‘interest’) compared to say, Girinagar. Hence if he did not collect, someone else waiting in the wings will be (more than) willing to take his place. Hence the ‘transfer mela’ where the highest bidder and/or with clout wins the bid. A Constable earns approx 3k per month : how can he live with such a petty income? His ‘other income’ will be more like 20k to 30k depending on the area/beat/capacity. The ROT has started from the TOP – unless it is plugged at the TOP, the cleansing cant just start.

  7. silkboard (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

    My dear SRI – I too have these romantic thoughts of walking through charming and crowded farmer’s market like places. But these need to be brought to life in some fair and law-abiding way. Mark half of the footpath for the purpose. Make the vendors bid for space or have a lottery system. Or make FabMalls and other ‘legal’ stores give these vendors preference on employment. Or simply enough, move them to separate farmer’s markets for the purpose.

    But please, don’t do it the way it exists today – revenue meant for the city going to cops’ and officials’ pockets, the ‘poor’ vendor with strongest muscles and sharpest swords occupying the pavements, ‘poor’ vendors ransacking the legal and revenue generating commercial establishments at will.

    Encroachments like these are the reasons your beloved city is finding it hard to cope with the influx of ‘unwanted’ skilled migrants. May I ask where exactly you walk when you go to Gandhi Bazaar? On the road, right? Where did you park your car? On a residential lane nearby, right?

    Poverty or shady past/history is no excuse for not following the laws of the land. Either amend them or implement them.

  8. degreecopy (unregistered) on November 17th, 2006 @ 6:01 pm

    some would say it’s the malls and shops that encroached on the vegetable vendors.

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