KBG – Background

The Kisan Bazar is a vendors market initialted by the Urban Development and Housing Department of Sikkim. It is located in the heart of the city and serves as an interface between Rural and Urban Sikkim.

The site for the Kisan Bazar at Gangtok  – at the intersection between the National Highway, the Road leading the Lal Bazar, an existing vendors market and the road to Arithang.

The Kisan Bazar is a building that will interface between the Farmers and Wholesalers of Farm Produce. The main users of this building can be listed as:

a. Farmers from the Villages

b. Wholesalers and their representatives

c. Retailers

d. Transport Company Employees

e. Drivers

f. Porters

A. Storage

A Cold Storage Facility to store perishable produce which will be able to cater to the farmers, wholesalers and any other merchants who would wish to avail of this facility.

1. Loading and Unloading Area

2. Transfer of Products

3. Pre-cooling Area

4. Grading and Sorting Room

5. Cold Rooms

6. Office and Administration Area

7. DG Set

8. Staircases, Toilets and Lifts

The Physical Attributes and Requirements of such a program would be:

a. No requirement of Natural Light

b. Insulated surfaces – walls, floor and ceilings.

c. Smooth Transfer of products

d. Effective Circulation

e. Adequate Storage facility

B. Shops and Display of Products

The Shops and Display of Products are necessary since they are the main interface between the Farmers and the Merchants. There are a 3 ways in which this interface can happen – as a small space, a supermarket and an open market. The Ancillary Program required for this would be:

1. Display Area – Shop

2. Circulation area – passage to move from one display to the next.

3. Loading and Unloading area

4. Lobby

5. Staircases, Toilets and Lifts

6. Garbage Management

The Physical Attributes and Requirements of such a program would be:

a. Adequate Ventilation

b. Effective Garbage Management system since perishables will be bound to decay and emit offensive odors that would permeate through the building.

c. Clear display of products.

d. Clear and Effective / Simple circulation

e. Visual connectivity between levels of the shopping areas – atrium like environment which will also aid in the effective ventilation of the place.

C. Parking

Parking should be treated as probably the most important necessity in any Urban Environment. Since most of our cities are clogged and congested with the number of cars, a large part of the problem is caused by inadequate parking available. It would seem necessary for an activity of such a volume of people that sufficient parking facility be provided for the Villagers. This program can be considered as a multi level car park where it can also serve as a dedicated taxi and private car stand catering to the villages from where the farmers and produce would come into Namchi. The details of this program would be:

1. Parking area

2. Driving area

3. Staircases, Toilets and Lifts

4. Ramps to drive between levels.

D. Offices / Commercial Space/ Restaurant and Cafes 

Administrative requirements will force the need for offices for the wholesale merchants and various organizations who will be involved in the different stages and different modes of transaction. These offices can be general office spaces, defined office areas, larger office with cabins for executives depending on the requirement.

Restaurants and Cafes will be required in order to cater to the people working in the building as well as the visitors to the structure. These could be larger establishments or more informal arrangements with space allocated to hawkers.

There will be reception and waiting areas required along with conference facilities and the possibility of banqueting facility as well. There can be a multimedia center or a business center that can be equipped with all the facilities such as computers with internet capability, printers, fax machines and other communication media.

This type of program should be:

1. Easily accessible by the users of the building as well as the visitors with a clear indication of exits, entrances and emergency exits.

2. Adequate natural light and ventilation

3. Segregated from the Shopping area and the cold storage areas

4. Directly accessible from the main Road

5. Located at a Vantage point in order to oversee the activity in the building and also take advantage of its location.

6. Lecture Rooms and classes for the dissemination of knowledge and information

4.0 Potentials

A building of this nature has a number of potentials and indirect results of the interaction of the different components and the main program types. The building, although meant to house the interface between the farmer and the wholesaler, has the potential to address so many other issues urban and otherwise in its conception.

a. Public Space / Pedestrian Network

One of the most important aspects about the location of the ‘Women / Vendors’ Market’ at Gangtok is its proximity to the heart of Gangtok’s Urban Public Space – the M.G. Marg. Its potential direct connectivity to this area will make it extraordinarily well connected to the Urban Infrastructure of the city. It will be able to plug in directly into the most important urban space and draw people into the building thus transforming this from merely a marketplace to a crucible of thriving urbanity. It can connect directly also the the pedestrian network along the national highway thereby working as a conduit.

A prototypical interconnectivity model can be developed here which would create the basis whereby the design of such urban elements are addressed. These passages currently are slumlike in their appearance and, even though they share such immediate proximity to the most important urban space in the city, their existance is in sharp contrast.

b. Haat Bazar 

Apart from the building serving to connect the Farmer with the wholesaler, one important urban activity is slowly getting sidelined. This is the weekly ‘haat’ where the smaller farmers come to town to sell vegetables directly to the consumers. This market is slowly getting replaced by concrete counterparts and, it will be the endeavor of this proposal to revive that activity since it has a deep rooted cultural significance amongst the society that we live in. This ‘open air market’ will also serve as another attractor to the people of Gangtok.

c. Multi Level Car Parking 

This multi level car park that has been proposed primarily in order to cater to the demands of the Women / Vendors’ Market but, because of the sheer volume of cars that it will be able to accommodate, it will go a long way to decongest the already crowded streets of Gangtok. It will make it very convenient for the people who live in the surrounding areas of Gangtok to come to the center of town, park their cars and go about their business.

d. Lecture Spaces 

The dissemination of information can be an important byproduct by congregating so many farmers in one location. This will help to spread awareness amongst the farmers about policies, about new technologies and farming techniques. It also serves as a platform where the farmers can come together and sit amongst each other and discuss important issues and dealing with them. There can be an exchange of information, opinions and views across the board. It can also serve as a meeting place of between the traders – the wholesaler and retailers and the farmers along with transport companies. There will be several issues ranging from increasing productivity amongst the farmers, to ways and means to get the produce to the markets in the shortest possible time. The merchants in return can also advise the farmers in what the market demands are – which would in turn influence the kind of crops that are grown in the villages.


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