Weekly markets in Delhi cautious in making new start | Delhi News - Times of India
NEW DELHI: Excited and energetic, Rajkumar Gupta did not neglect to carry face masks and hand sanitiser while leaving his home after finally getting his first...
- Aug 28, 2020
NEW DELHI: Excited and energetic, Rajkumar Gupta did not neglect to carry face masks and hand sanitiser while leaving his home after finally getting his first opportunity in five months to set up his stall at the weekly market in Pushp Vihar in south Delhi’s Saket. TOI was at the Pushp Vihar and Gandhi Nagar markets on Monday after Delhi Disaster Management Authority finally allowed one weekly market per day per zone in areas under the five local government bodies of the capital.
Weekly market associations seemed aware of the fact that their hard-fought victory could come to nought if the special guidelines were violated. “The market has opened after five months and is on trial till August end. Unless we adhere to rules, it will be difficult to get permission for a permanent resumption,” said Ramesh Kumar, president of the Pushp Vihar weekly market association.
A South Delhi Municipal Corporation banner demarcated the market area limits, with the entrance manned by a woman guard managing the sanitising machine for buyers. The stalls were erected around 6 ft of each other, and spaces in front had circles marked for customers. Most people were wearing masks, cautioned by constant public announcements about the required norms and repercussions of violating them.
“Each vendor contributed to the effort to manage things successfully,” said a satisfied official of SDMC’s licensing department. Rajkumar Kataria, general secretary of the Pushp Vihar weekly market association, said the group planned to visit the chief minister’s office on Tuesday to thank Arvind Kejriwal for permitting the resumption of the market.
In east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar, things were as smooth as in Pushp Vihar. Like in south Delhi, EDMC has also marked 6x4 boxes in yellow for customers, but not everyone adhered to social distancing. Many of the buyers, especially at the vegetable vends, were not wearing face masks. Perhaps things weren’t organised as efficiently as in Pushp Vihar, because vendor Devender Singh claimed not to have got any circular or information about the anti-Covid precautions to be followed.
“The municipal staff took a round of the area in the afternoon, arranged some things and left,” alleged Singh. “We didn’t get any circular, but we are taking all precautions. Yes, there are people who are breaking the rules and we feel the need for stricter implementation.” Another hawker, Rajesh Jain, explained that there was no local market association and that was why things were so haphazard. “I am worried the apathy of some customers will make us pay the price,” muttered Jain.
An EDMC official, however, refuted any negligence and claimed the corporation staff had made the necessary arrangements. “We had meetings with the vendors, but the problem with these markets is that they are not organised or have authorised associations which can be made answerable for violations,” the official said. “From Tuesday, we will be more thorough. We will implement the Covid norms strictly and penalise violators. We will also make regular public announcements in the market to remind people to maintaining proper distance from each other.”
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