PUNE: The Chhatrapati Shivaji Market building in Pune Cantonment, which holds a heritage value, is in a dilapidated condition. As a result, the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) administration has decided to repair and renovate the market to give it a new look and extend its life span.
The building is 126 years old and has become a prime market space for Pune Cantonment residents. However, the building’s present condition is so bad that it needs immediate restoration and repair. “With the current condition, I am doubtful if the building would last for even 10 years. In order to increase its life span by 50 years or more, we need to act immediately. So far, in four decades, only minor maintenance works have been carried out. However, to preserve the building, it is necessary to carry out structural strengthening work,” said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PCB DN Yadav.
The CEO said that to proceed with the repair and renovation work, the market needs to be closed for a period of six months. Existing shops will be issued a notice of repair and relocation and a place will be allotted to them to run their business for a temporary period of time. There are 504 shops currently in the market.
Elected member of the board Priyanka Shrigiri raised the long-known issue of unauthorised shops running in the market. “Many shops were found to be illegal during the previous inspection. A few of them were cases of change of land purpose. However, the facts of transfer from the right owners to others are still not known to the board,” said Shrigiri.
Yadav said that only authorised shops will be given new premises temporarily.
Earlier, officials of PCB found that these illegal establishments had created chaos and congestion. They observed that meat is cut on the floor in the open and vegetable waste is not disposed properly, making it an unhygienic place. The administration had also received complaints from residents staying around the market about traffic congestions caused due to illegal shops outside the market.
President of PCB Brig Rajiv Sethi said, “The PCB administration should issue three months notices to all unauthorised establishments in the market. It should verify the cases of land change of purpose and take necessary steps against them.”