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 “Bachat Bazar’s” are the best place for affordable shopping

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 5, 2017 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
Posted: Jun 5, 2017 | Last Updated: 5 years ago

Bachat bazar1

By: Muzammil Ferozi

As every thing has its own value the same “Bachat Bazars” are but due to law in order situation and enhancements of land rent by authorities “Bachat Bazars” are getting closed day by day because of it middle and lower class people are suffering. Around 200 small and big Bachat bazaars were being organized for 35 years, half of them were organized on the land rented out to the organizers by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, rest of them were arranged on the land controlled by the Cantonment boards, Defence Housing Authority, navy, Pakistan Steel, railway, PIA and other agencies, which have been closed due to law in order situation of country.

The DHA Sunday bazaar one of the most well-liked weekly bazaar of the city, which was popular because of availability of used imported clothes, shoes, bags and crockery, all over the Karachi people used to visit that Bachat Bazar to buy things on affordable prices, which was officially closed by the authorities last year by saying that the facility had been set up on private property and their agreement with the organizers have expired last year.

Those Bachat bazaras had been not only a source of income for a large number of people but also had provided people access to edibles, clothes and other products at a much lower price than the market.

The concept of bachat bazaar was launched during Gen Zia’s regime and the very first such bazaar was inaugurated in Islamabad in the early 1980’s. A few months later another similar bazaar was opened in Karachi. Earlier, such bazaars were organized only on Fridays for which they were called Juma Bazaars. But as demand went up from the public over the years, such bazaars were arranged in different localities of Karachi on different days and were respectively being called after the days of a week such as Mungal Bazaar and Itwar Bazaar.

To arrange “Bachat Bazaars” the key players were their organizers who used to obtain land from the respective land controlling agency and sublet stalls to traders and vendors on a daily basis. The organizers were also responsible for providing of electricity and security besides solving disputes between the traders and consumers because of being conducted on Sunday they were very useful because many of markets and shopping malls are closed on  Sunday but due to closeness of lower class people have been deprived from such cheap and easy shopping.

Three major bazaars on Sundays used to be organized near Safari Park in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, near Laal Flats in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Defence, Sea-view, Sector 3½ of Korangi and Bhittai Colony ground. Now many of them have been closed for the name of security and for the enhancements of land rent which organizers were not able to pay that is why they have closed such bachat bazaars due to this people are suffering and compelled buy goods on high price, people are demanding government to arrange such bachat bazaars for middle class people so that they can buy things on lower rates.

The biggest bazaar was spread over 22,000 square yards and the smallest on around 1,000 square yards.” The KMC used to collect monthly rent at the rate of Rs3 per yard from the organizers. This way the civic agency generated an annual revenue between Rs8 million and Rs8.5 million” source reviled to Daily Times

In 2015, the KMC enhanced the rent by over 800 percent to Rs25 per sq yard per month, leading to a dispute between the organizers and the authorities.

Prices in the weekly bazaars were fixed at rates 20 per cent less than those prevailing in the regular market, while vegetables and fruits are to be sold according to the official price list, with no bargain allowed.

An organizer reviled that about 100 bachat bazaars were organized on a weekly basis at KMC premises, at different location so that people get edible and other goods at affordable prices but many of them have closed due to enhancements of land rent.

A large number of small traders used to earn their livelihoods from these bazaars while thousands of less privileged people used to visit the bazaars to grasp low priced goods.

Now 95 small bachat bazaars are being set up under KDA supervision which is a good step and number must be increased so that people may buy cheap and affordable goods under one roof.


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