Posted On October 19, 2016 By In City And 1596 Views

Shilparamam night bazaar gropes in dark

HYDERABAD: The night bazaar at Shilparamam which is one of the few hang-out options for night owls in the city, is once again enveloped in darkness with power supply to several stalls being snapped. Even the coveted cultural and crafts village project of the state, Shilparamam too has been steadily losing it clientele and footfalls of foreigners have gone down drastically over the last two years, pushing it towards a slow death, reveal insiders. Authorities blame non-payment of power bills by traders for the precarious scenario. “Out of the 67 stalls, only seven or eight have been paying power bills regularly. We serve notices on them before snapping power supply . Even now the lighting in the common areas is intact so that it doesn’t affect visitors. We are asking them to vacate for improving facilities and will re-allot the stalls. They were told that they can reapply for stalls but they refuse to cooperate,” said Kishan Das, general manager, Shilparamam. Traders however say that they have been paying their power dues but are not getting receipts. “Moreover, there has been no effort to let out vacant shops or revamp the bazaar so wari, skill development official of the women welfare society . The Shilparamam Night Bazaar Traders Association allege that the traders were being targeted for approaching court over the power issue. While traders and stall tenants blame government apathy for the decline in sales, authorities blame the craftsmen for `lack of quality for their depleting business. Craftsmen say that the crafts village has now turned into an extended Koti market and Sultan bazaar. One thing craftsmen, authorities and even visitors agree is far. We were assured that there would be a roof-top restaurant and all shops will be let out to encourage visitors but that never happened,” said K Rajesh that the crafts village has `no variety’ to boost sales. “I think there is nothing great to attract a visitor. When I can get the same stuff in Koti market, then there is no point in going all the way to Shilparamam and buy an entry ticket,” said P Chaitanya, a visitor. As for keeping check on mushrooming of non-craft shops, the official said that checks are being conducted `to the extent possible’ and more will be done to ensure that only arts and crafts are on offer. “Unlike previous years when the state government organised Navratri celebrations and other cultural events, this year no special arrangements were made. Even the recent ly concluded crafts mela was a damp squib with few customers turn ing up. Things like Kondapalli toys, glass toys and handmade mats have totally disappeared,” ad mitted a wood craftsman, Krishna. As per official figures 20003500 footfalls are registered at Shilparamam daily although no official register of number of visitors is being maintained. “Even those fewer people visiting the centre hardly buy anything. You can see a whole lot of shops selling clothes or trinkets that are found in various other bazaars in the city . In fact, a few craftsmen from other states even wound up their business and left for their hometowns due to the decline in income,” said Prakash, a craftsman.

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