Nagpur: A favourite ‘hunting’ spot for book lovers since the past seven decades, the Old Book Market of Sitabuldi faces the ‘extinction threat,’ or say, could be ‘run over’ by Metro Rail. The age-old market made each and every book of interest available to the needy. That too at reasonable price. But the market is now again in a fix. It is the second time the old book market is facing the dilemma first being when the Sitabuldi flyover was being constructed. Now, Nagpur Metro Rail Project threatens its existence.
The vendors at the old book market have reportedly been told, orally, by concerned authorities to vacate the place. Helping to cooperate with Metro Rail project, the Nagpur Pustak Vikreta Kalyankari Sanstha has demanded an alternative arrangement and space for the old book vendors. Earlier, the then Guardian Minister and currently the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had assured the vendors to provide them tenements or shops. The then Chairman of NIT Dr T Chandrashekhar had even prepared a plan before evacuating the vendors. But now, the Old Book Market is being displaced even before an alternative arrangement.
Nagpur Metro Rail route in the South-North Corridor is likely to pass through Sitabuldi flyover. The metro rail is likely to run up to Automotive Square on Kamptee Road.
The Old Book Market of Sitabuldi not only satisfies the “hunger” Vidarbha of book lovers but also serves book buffs from Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. A round 28 vendors do their business at the book market along the road near office of Deputy Director of Education. But a “Sword of Damocles” is hanging on the heads of vendors in the shape of Metro Rail. The fate of these vendors, along with their 150 family members, now is hanging on balance. Some of the shops are situated on both sides of the flyover. A parking problem had cropped its head a few days ago but the issue was settled amicably. The courts had directed the NMC to provide an alternate place to these vendors. At that time, NMC had submitted an affidavit and state that it had no objection in giving space near office of Deputy Director of Education. Hence the shops were settled in the Old Book Market. But now, the Metro Rail project has posed a problem of existence for the 70-year old market.
70 years of service:
Today, the old book market has seen over 70 years of service. The third generation is in business. It is a reliable pillar for many libraries in the city. Hundreds of students purchase the needful books at affordable price and return too once the purpose is accomplished. The customers are no-barred customers – poor and rich alike.
Chandamama to books, books, books & all books:
The Old Book Market has a unique speciality. You will get a particular book here even if it not available in big markets. All books including textbooks of all classes, career guides, fashion design, old volumes in Marathi, Hindi, English languages, MPSC, UPSC, NET, SET, PMT, AIEEE, SEEE, NDA, IIT, Bank exams. You name it and get it. Even story books read in childhood such as Chandamama are available in this market.
In sum, the Old Book Market of Sitabuldi is no less than a treasure trove for book hunters. If concrete steps are not initiated to save this treasure, Nagpur City would be great loser. A jewel in the city’s crown would be lost forever.