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Mysore's famous Devaraja Market to be Renovated

Mysore's landmark, the over a century-old Devaraja Market building is to be renovated. The renovation proposal has been taken up by the Mysore City Corporation, under its new Mayor, Mr. Dakshina Murthy. Incidentally, Mr. Murthy, a Congress Corporator, was elected Mayor, succeeding Mrs. Modamani, after her one-year term in office.

At a meeting of important personalities of Mysore and the members of the Mysore Agenda Task Force, the new Mayor discussed the proposal and said the renovation would be undertaken without damaging the external architecture of the building. Its unique architectural design would be retained. Inside the sprawling market, amenities would be created to cater to the large number of vegetable, fruit and other merchants.

Initially, the City Corporation will make available Rs. 78 lakhs for taking up the project, which is proposed to be completed within a year, possibly before the Dasara festivities in October this year. Besides the Corporation making available a portion of the required money, 50 per cent of the total expenditure is to be collected from the merchants of the market, as the Corporation is facing financial hardship. Around 763 fruit, vegetable and other traders are presently doing business in the sprawling market. The overall proposal may cost around Rs. 1 crore.

The heritage building is slowly deteriorating and facing a number of problems with growing pressure on it. Besides a large number of traders and hawkers, it attracts big crowds almost every day, particularly in the morning and evening shopping hours. It will be overcrowded during the festival days. Also, the traders are facing space problem and lack certain basic requirements for trading in the market. Around the market, prominent business areas like the Krishnarajendra Statue Circle (K.R.Circle), Shivarampet, Santhepet, Sayaji Rao Road, and D. Devaraj Urs Road have come up over the years. In front of the main entrance is located a unique clock tower, constructed in honour of the visit of Lord Dufferin, the British Viceroy, to Mysore, during the reign of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. With lots of business activity around it, the clock tower area too has lost its significance and become crowded.

The restoration of the famous market is a part of the ongoing project to conserve and preserve the heritage buildings in Mysore City. The task of preserving and protecting these buildings, some of them with unique blend of Indo-Muslim architecture, has been undertaken by the Mysore Area Heritage Task Force, a set up created about a year ago, during the Chief Ministership of Mr. S.M.Krishna.

After the meeting, the Mayor announced that a committee with experts in heritage conservation, town planning and architecture will be formed to guide the City Corporation in renovating the historical structure.

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