The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jadubabu's Bazar makes way for modern retail

Just now came to know in the office that Jadubabu's Bazar, one of the oldest and best-known markets and a landmark in Bhowanipore, is sold out to Reliance who will build a mall there.

Jadubabu's Bazar just a couple of years ago was a thriving market and its regular customers came from Bhowanipore and surrounding areas stretched to Shakespeare Sarani (Theatre Rd), Elgin Rd and Sarat Bose Rd. It is one of Kolkata's two food markets (The other is New Market) which stocks exotic food products that the foreign tourists often look for. Only in these two markets (Except the new economy markets like Big Bazaar) one would find the widest varieties of cheeese and canned foods in the city.

The place suffered a body blow when Food Bazaar opened atop Pantaloons in Shakespeare Sarani and C3 (Supermarket) opened in Elgin Rd. Soon many of its customers switched loyalties to these new, swanky stores high on customer service.

The sell-out will erase one of the landmarks of old Kolkata and change the texture and essence of Bhowanipore permanently. It would be better if Jadu Bazaar (As popularly known) was reconstructed like Lake Mall is being built in place of Lake Market, another old market of the city. Such a development, initiated by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), would ensure a status quo of the old and the new faces of business. But I guess, replicating the Lake Mall model to all old markets would be an arduous task for KMC. And when Reliance's retail arm, who won't like to lose time to set foot in the city, vies for a place like that, it would possibly not have made sense for KMC to resist. What the place is going to be like is still not clear, hence watch this space.