Belagavi's Mahila Market: A culinary gem under Smart City's innovative initiative
Belagavi, Karnataka: Belagavi's culinary scene has received a mouthwatering makeover with the advent of Mahila Bazar, a women-led market that is quickly becoming the city's gastronomic hub.
Drawing comparisons to the famed Chappan Dukan food market in Indore, this vibrant food destination boasts 56 unique shops, with 29 of them offering delectable dishes from across the nation.
The brainchild of Belagavi Smart City Limited, this epicurean haven was crafted at a cost of Rs 1.2 crore. Located strategically on Atal Bihari Vajpayee Road, in the heart of the city, beside the fire station, Mahila Market stands as a testament to urban transformation.
It was once a desolate space plagued by garbage, liquor bottles, and questionable activities. Now, it's a bustling and vibrant epicentre of culinary delights.
With its diverse range of offerings, the Mahila Market caters to a wide array of visitors, from families and couples to youngsters. You can find everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to fresh fruit juice, ice creams, snacks, Chinese cuisine, and sweet sugary treats.
This bustling food paradise draws parallels with Indore's Chappan Dukan, a renowned street housing 56 shops celebrated for its delectable and affordable snacks and sweets.
Today, Mahila Market, affectionately called "Khau Katta," has become the city's most happening place.
Syeda Afreen S Bellary, the Managing Director of Belagavi Smart City, expressed that Mahila Bazar Khau Katta is not only the most popular street in Belagavi but also in nearby districts. Remarkably, out of the 56 shops, 29 are proudly managed by women, making it a shining example of women's empowerment.
Talking to ANI, Bellary said, "Mahila Bazar Kahu Katta is the most popular street in Belagavi and nearby district. Out of 56 shops 29 shops are run by women, it is the best example of women empowerment".
In addition to the Mahila Market, the Belagavi Smart City initiative has undertaken various other significant projects.
She said, "We have constructed 30 Bed Maternity Hospital at Vantmuri and 10 Bed Hospital PHC within the premises of an existing PHC at Vadgaon. This provides basic primary health care services to the rural population and serves as a starting point for them before they are referred to a higher level of treatment. It also serves to bridge the gap between the suburban and urban population. This is because it ensures that the rural population has access to the same level of healthcare services as the urban population. Along with these 2 hospital developments, the improvement of BIMS hospital has been taken up by BSCL with the total cost of Rs 8.09 crores".
The Savitribai Phule Center for Specially Abled Children provides specialized facilities, including a therapy hall, where children with special needs receive free treatment both indoors and outdoors, thanks to dedicated psychotherapists.
Furthermore, a 30-bed Maternity Hospital at Vantmuri and a 10-bed Hospital Primary Health Center (PHC) in the premises of an existing PHC at Vadgaon ensure basic primary healthcare services for rural populations.
These healthcare initiatives bridge the gap between suburban and urban areas, guaranteeing that rural populations access the same quality of healthcare services as urban areas.
Notably, the improvement of BIMS Hospital is another ambitious project undertaken by Belagavi Smart City, with a total investment of Rs 8.09 crores.
Belagavi has seen a total of 102 projects awarded under the Smart City mission, with 96 projects already completed.
The remaining initiatives are slated for completion by February 2024. The remarkable efforts of the Belagavi Smart City team were recognized when they received the 'United Nations - Smart Solutions and Inclusive Cities Awards 2022' from Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.
The Smart Cities Mission, launched by the central government on June 25, 2015, has been transformative for Belagavi, and the Mahila Market is just one shining example of the city's inspiring journey toward progress and innovation.