Dec 15, 2011 at 11:00am IST

Namma Metro wipes out business for retailers

BANGALORE: For the shopkeepers on Chinmaya Mission Hospital Road (CMH Road) in Indiranagar, business continues to remain dull even after the completion of the construction work of Namma Metro.
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) may be smiling its way to the bank, but the CMH Road Shops and Establishments Association confirms that more than 60 percent of the shops have closed down since the launch of Reach 1 of Namma Metro.
Shopkeepers had expected the sales to go up after the launch of Reach 1 but except for a mere 20 percent increase in sales, the volume of business is not even a half of what it used to be before BMRCL set foot on CMH Road.
“Nothing has improved. A survey conducted recently has confirmed that out of 1000 shops on this road, only 350 of them have survived in the last three years,” said Rammohan, Secretary, CMH Road Shops and Establishments Association.
No basic amenities
Shopping on CMH road was unthinkable while the Metro construction work was going on as the dust and noise drove customers away. But the traders hoped that once the metro becomes operational, customers would return. But the lack of basic amenities like parking facilities, pavements and traveling on the narrow roads are some reasons that force people to shop elsewhere.
Ugadi boost
Digging up alternatives to attract more customers ,the traders on CMH Road have planned a shopping festival in March next year. Initially, the shopping festival was scheduled to take place in the last week of December, but the shop owners have asked for more time to plan the festival properly.
“The festival will not happen in December. We need more time to plan it. We should be able to host the shopping fest during Ugadi next year,” said Rammohan.
In what would be a joint venture between BMRCL and the CMH Road Shops and Establishments Association, the shopping festival aims to get shoppers back to CMH Road.
The Association confirmed that BMRCL would finance the advertising expenses and will also allocate station space for traders to set up kiosks inside stations.