Saturday, June 02, 2007

HANDYMEN GIVE LAL BAZAAR A SQUEAKY-CLEAN LOOK

GANGTOK, June 01: The Lall Bazaar shopping complex here is lately undergoing an all-out makeover from its earlier unhygienic ambience. Thanks to ‘Golden Circle Handyman Plus’ in enabling the shopping plaza retain its metropolis look, Lall Bazaar may soon sport a squeaky clean look.

The Golden Circle Handyman Plus, an essential service provider agency, took over the maintenance of the 6-storied shopping complex from April 16 this year and already, the results are visible inside of the complex.

Around 17 safai karmacharis with a monthly salary of Rs 2,500 are deployed to clear-out the garbages at least thrice a day. These safai karmacharis attend to their errands at the entire shopping complex from 6 am till 9 at the night. Besides regular cleaning of garbages, the safai karmacharis also undertake the weekly washing of the floors.

The Golden Circle had taken up the task of the maintaining the shopping complex for a probation (trial) period of 3 weeks under the auspices of Apex Committee of the Lall Bazaar Traders & Hawkers Association and the Urban Development & Housing Department, that is to continue till July 16 this year.

The Golden Circle Handyman Plus which is into existence in Gangtok for the last 4 years, is reported to have initiated cleanliness drive in the shopping complex with an investment of Rs 80,000 including white washing of the walls and beautification of both interior and exterior facets of the shopping plaza.

The Manager of Golden Circle, Ajay Shreshta speaking to SIKKIM EXPRESS today said once it avails permission to continue with the maintenance of the complex after expiry of the probation period, more resourceful changes including seating arrangements for local and foreign visitors, installation of adequate dustbins and adornment of the mall with pot plants are on the cards.

An executive member of Lall Bazaar Traders & Hawkers Association voiced an affirmative response in light of Golden Circle’s endeavour in cleanliness drive. He said earlier the unhygienic milieu of the shopping complex together with decomposed vegetables, open urination and the gloomy corners was a downer for everyone.

Most hawkers and traders are apparently also contented with the kind of maintenance undertaken by Golden Circle in the shopping complex. With cleanliness, during the last few months, improvement in the consciousness was also noticed among the traders in maintaining cleanliness of the surroundings. However, there is also a need for more dustbins at different points of the complex.

A shopkeeper complained that despite frequent appeals to UD&HD to help the shopkeepers avail a provision to clear-out the disposed garbage at least twice a day, owing to the large volume of goods brought in to the shopping complex throughout the day, inadequate space to house the ever increasing waste materials had left the appeal unanswered.

The need for setting up CCTVs especially along the staircase and the dark corners of the shopping complex and immediate electrification at the top floor (terrace) has also been felt, given the fact that the huge complex is slowly turning into convenient location for open urination, defecation, drugs abuse and other offensive and anti-social activities under the cover of the night.

The Lall Bazaar at present houses a total of 379 hawkers and 225 traders whereby every individual hawkers and traders contributes Rs 100 and Rs 70 as their monthly contribution for the cleanliness drive.

Despite the cleanliness drive initiated by Golden Circle, one can still come across garbage lying unattended in the complex. “But whom will you blame? Is it the lack of awareness among local populace or that we do not have any sense of responsibility towards public properties?” a senior citizen on his way out of the complex said.