New Delhi: Over a 12 months since Karol Bagh market was made pedestrian-friendly, with ornamental road lights, benches, flower pots, and bollards, it’s again to its typical congested self.
A floor verify by HT on Sunday discovered the lane marked for emergency companies on the Ajmal Khan Highway has been taken over by autos, road lights have been stained by folks chewing paan or gutkha spitting on them, and automobiles and two-vehicles parked close to the benches meant for the consumers to loosen up.
Related scenes had been witnessed at east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar market, which was additionally made pedestrian pleasant underneath a mission by the municipal our bodies to decongest metropolis markets and make some parts no-go zones for autos.
The municipal firms had allowed vehicular motion in these markets in July on the insistence by the merchants that they should ramp up gross sales that had been devastated because of the extended lockdown imposed to curb the unfold of the coronavirus illness (Covid-19).
Now, the civic our bodies have prolonged the relief given for car motion by two months. Merchants of the 2 markets had sought to increase leisure until March subsequent 12 months.
The civic authorities say that the present leisure is prone to proceed until January 2021. “Vehicular motion was allowed on merchants demand because of the pandemic. It’s a short-term leisure. In January, there shall be an evaluation and efforts shall be made to re-launch the pedestrianisation plan,” a senior North Delhi Municipal Company official stated.
Karol Bagh was the primary buying hub in Delhi to be pedestrianised, as a part of which its foremost market street (Ajmal Khan Highway) was restricted for autos in Could final 12 months. Equally, round 1-km stretch between Chhachi Constructing and Ghondli Chowk in Krishna Nagar’s Lal Quarter Market was pedestrianised in October final 12 months.
Customers, nonetheless, stated the expertise was higher with pedestrian services. “When there was no vehicular motion on the primary street of the market, all the things appeared so as. However now, many of the house is taken over by autos. Many a instances we’ve to take a seat on benches with automobiles parked simply beside it,” Nikita Sangwan, a consumer in Karol Bagh market stated.
Murli Mani, president Ajmal Khan Highway Merchants Affiliation, stated on account of Covid-19 pandemic gross sales went down by 60% and that restriction on vehicular motion will additional limit enterprise.
“Principally customers use personal autos. They don’t wish to use public transport on account of Covid-19. If the primary street is pedestrianised once more, the purchasers will cease visiting the market. We now have requested the civic physique to increase relaxations until March however they’ve agreed to permit vehicular motion out there until January 2021,” Mani stated.
Jagdish Vohra, president, Lal Quarter Market Affiliation, stated pedestrianisation shouldn’t be applied until Covid-19 state of affairs prevails.
Jai Prakash, mayor north company, stated, “It’s an unprecedented state of affairs which has badly hit the companies. So, we even have to consider our merchants and take vital steps. These relaxations are short-term and pedestrianisation shall be re-implemented when the state of affairs improves.”
Information accomplice to the Union ministry of residence affairs, Anuj Malhotra, who had assisted north and east firms in making Karol Bagh and Krishna Nagar markets pedestrian pleasant, stated it was disappointing to see the autos working on a pedestrianised stretches. “Such relaxations ought to stay solely short-term measures. The authorities ought to attempt to restore pedestrian-only stretches in each the markets,” he stated.