Crowd-less Little India headache for traders

The parking woes in Brickfield has been turning patrons away despite the implementation of the traffic dispersal system, which supposed ease the congestion.

Deepavali bazaar traders and stall operators complained to Komunitkini that they are suffering a nosedive in sales after the implementation of one-way traffic along Jalan Tun Sambathan.

Traders admitted that the business has dropped over 70% in compare to last year’s pre-festive period.

In the midst of slow business, the traders also claimed that the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) has ordered the bazaar traders to cease operation and dismantle everything during the three-day visit of India prime minister Manmohan Singh to Brickfield’s Little India.

Stall operator Kannan Ramasamy said in the previous years customers always flocked in Brickfields the moment the bazaar was set up.

“Last time the crowd at night was so big that I can’t even move, though it was weeks before Deepavali,” said the disgruntled trader who claims there are some days now where he only made RM10.00 transaction.

However, Kannan did not blame the business gloom to one-way traffic. He urged DBKL to go easy on motorists who pull aside along Jalan Tun Sambathan.

“They are issuing summons 24/7 here. They should know now is festive season and people will drop by to buy stuffs, can’t they be a bit more lenient?” he asked.

Periannan Palamy (right), who owned a boutique and bazaar stall, echoed Kannan’s sentiment. He highlighted that his patrons are frequently compoundedby DBKL for illegal parking.

“They buy a RM20 saree, and they go with a RM20 summon. Do you think they will come back again like this?” asked Periannan.

Komunitikini also noticed that there is a price hike on festive goods such as saree and biscuits in several shops and stalls compared to previous years.

A stall operator who requested anonymity admitted that prices of saree and Punjabi suit in his shop have gone up for 30%.

“There is no way we can survive if we don’t raise up the price; the crowd is just too small,”

Another trader, Raj Kumar also claimed that DBKL ordered the bazaars to be dismantled and close down during Indian PM visit from October 27 to 29.

“They should know that it is during Indian PM visit then we can only expect large crowds. Why do they want us to close down that time?”

He also claimed they will be not compensated by the authority for the closure.

The Brickfields Little India project is due to be unveiled next week when premier Najib Tun Razak and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh PM present to launch the RM35million project.

Attempt to get DBKL’s response was futile.