Lajpat Nagar market closure: Not in our power to check crowding, say traders


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Reacting to the closure of Lajpat Nagar market and Rui Mandi in Sadar Bazar for violation of Covid norms, representatives of various trader bodies claimed that crowding is mainly due to the presence of street vendors and it is up to the administration to prevent it.Stating that closure of markets is not a solution, they suggested that authorities come up with uniform SOPs for all market associations after holding discussions with traders.

“Traders sit in their shops or work from their godowns, then how are they responsible if there is a crowd in the market, which is mostly caused by unorganised roadside vendors. It is not in our power to control them,” said Paramjit Singh Pamma, vice-chairman of the Federation of Sadar Bazar Traders’ Association.
This is not the first time when a markets have been shut by the district administration after the second wave. Laxmi Nagar market, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and Sadar Bazar were among those shut in recent weeks by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for violation of Covid-19 norms.

Pamma alleged that there were not enough police personnel in the area to ensure that norms are followed. “We have deputed our guards outside shops, but the street vendors don’t listen to anyone, they don’t wear masks or maintain distance. The police challan shopkeepers, who are sitting inside their stores, instead of the vendors outside,” Pamma claimed.

South East District SDM, Padmakar Ram Tripathi said that an inspection was carried out by the Covid-19- appropriate behaviour enforcement teams at the Lajpat Nagar Central Market and “gross violations” were observed. “It is, hereby, directed that the above market (Lajpat Nagar Central Market) is closed with immediate effect until further orders,” the DDMA order said. It also directed the market association to take all measures to ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour within a day from the order being issued.

‘Shutting down markets not a solution’
Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of the Confederation of All India Traders, suggested that formal SOPs be prepared for all market associations. Closure of markets cannot be a solution. “We will hold a meeting with DDMA in this regard,” he said

With PTI inputs

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