Three years later, the new Cauvery Emporium building is still not ready

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The relocation of Cauvery Emporium was announced in 2019 and was expected to be completed within eight months

The relocation of Cauvery Emporium was announced in 2019 and was expected to be completed within eight months

When the move of the Cauvery Emporium from MG Road, one of the city’s iconic shopping malls for crafts, was announced in 2019, it was expected to be completed within eight months.

Fast forward three years, construction of the new four-story building, also on MG Road, is still not complete.

According to officials from Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited (KSHDCL), the construction work will be completed within the next six to eight months.

While the construction works were initially taken over by Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL), the works have now been handed over to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), after the former delayed the construction works.

According to Belur Raghavendra Shetty, Chairman of KSHDCL, the company paid an annual rent of ₹3.6 crore [₹30 lakh per month] for three years in the building where Cauvery Emporium is currently located.

“KRIDL committed violations because of which we had to let them go. After that, the matter was not brought before the council for a long time. It was only recently brought in and I gave it my approval. There are plans to include a penalty clause in the new contract to ensure that the works are completed on schedule,” he said.

“KRIDL did not give us any specific reason why there was a delay in construction. Now, with BMTC, we expect the work to be completed in six months. The new building will come just a few buildings after the current building and will have a large Cauvery logo at the elevation as per the proposed plan,” said D. Roopa, General Manager, KSHDCL.

Ms Roopa added that business has picked up at the emporium after the pandemic and every month hundreds of new products are launched. While traditional Navalgund durries, which also have a Geographical Indication (GI) label, are made with bright fabrics, a new pastel color scheme has now been introduced to appeal to younger generation customers.

After a three-year downward trend in revenue, KSHDCL experienced a 41.8% increase in revenue in the recently concluded financial year (2021-2022). While the revenue was ₹16.88 crore in 2020–21, it increased to ₹23.95 crore in 2021–22.

“Entry to Amazon, Flipkart and other online sales portals, various in-state and out-of-state exhibits, seller incentive programs, ties to other government departments and a social media presence are some of the reasons for the increased revenue,” Ms. Roopa said.

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