Belgaum Cloth Merchants Association had called a special meeting on Tuesday morning to put forth the various difficulties faced by them to the 3 MLA’s of Belgaum. All the three MLA’s Mr.Feroz Sait of North, Sanjay Patil of Rural and Abhay Patil of South were present and all spoke about working together towards the development of Belgaum with no partisan lines in middle. Congress spokesperson Anil Potdar was also present on the occasion.
Belgaum cloth market is about 100 years old and people from surrounding 200 kms come to Belgaum for shopping. Recently the flow of consumers to the city has decreased. Parking is a major cause of concern of the merchants because of which inflow has decreased.
Feroz Sait MLA Belgaum North said that, parking in the city is a major hindrance and he to avoids coming into the city due to it. He added that master plan should be done. Feroz Sait laid down a new plan for beautification of the Ramdev Galli to Shaniwar Khoot. Nothing concrete was disclosed but he stressed that if the association came up with a plan he was ready to execute it. He also promised to deploy the MLA funds in the business areas of the city. All work under the 650 crore JNNRUM project will be done under consultation with local people he added. Efforts will be made for the execution of the long pending Belgaum Dharwad rail link he said. Flights from Sambra had been closed only as there was no sufficient traffic and the same would commence once there is good potential. In reply to question, he said that he would ask the traffic authorities to see that a 1 meter box is marked in front of all shops which will make it easy for consumers to enter the shop.
Sanjay Patil MLA for Rural said that Party lines will not interfere in the development of the city and all the 3 MLAs will collectively deploy the various funds and schemes. We all now should get away from this Marathi Kannada bias and work for the betterment of the city. There are no industries around Belgaum and the Rail and air links are not so good. He asked the merchants not be a frog in the well and come out and diversify into other fields as well.
Anil Potdar from the Congress told the gathering that traffic was the biggest problem and the main cause of this problem is the 70% odd increase of traffic, which makes use of Belgaum as a transit way from Kolhapur to Goa. He suggested a fly over to be built from Hotel Shankam to Peeranwadi, which will solve this problem once for all. The ring road will need Rs.800 odd crores but here the problem was not compensation but acquisition of land he said. A textile park must be built he said. Sulab Souchyalya (toilet blocks) will be built in the main city area he added. He said if master plan is to be undertaken spot compensation should be given.
Abhay Patil MLA South agreed to the BCMA’s demand for a separate land for developing a textile market, which will house 100+ textile shops. The MLA said he is ready to show the association 3 plots that can be given for this purpose. Belgaum is a “Sudharlele Khede” (a developed village) and stated that in the past 50 years nothing has happened here for the development due to the border row. Rs. 1 crore have been allocated for parking related issues and parking facilities will be provided near Deshmukh road on the side roads, he said in reply to a question. Regarding the issues of trade license and harassment from various other govt. offices, he said he would speak to them about the same in the week and get the mater resolved. Talks have already begun with Infosys and Toyota to ask them to establish them in Belgaum.
The meeting was held at Hotel Adarsh Palace and numerous cloth merchants were present at the meet. The Belgaum Cloth Merchants Association is a body of 180 members.
Photos: Team AAB