HT Spot Check: Delhi markets burst at the seams

Despite new Covid-19 infections in the Capital spiralling, and experts urging people to avoid crowding, markets have swelled during the festive season. HT is conducting spot checks in different parts of the city to check whether social distancing norms and mask hygiene are being followed, and questioning the authorities about why they are being unable to put measures in place, and how they plan to address the problem. Need we remind you, the coronavirus disease has already infected over 470,000 people in the city, and taken more than 7,000 lives.

Kamla Nagar

What association says

Nitin Gupta, president, Kamla Nagar traders association: “A lot of street vendors have occupied the pavements and roads, hardly leaving any space to ensure social distancing. The agencies concerned should intervene in this matter at the earliest.”

What admin says

Rajesh Choudhury, sub-divisional magistrate (Civil Lines): “We have scaled up enforcement. Surprise inspections over the past one week have been effective in ensuring Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. We
have also deployed a team of 25 civil defence volunteers in the market to manage crowds.”

What police say

Anto Alphonse, DCP (North): “We are making regular announcements from our police booth, a police van and the motorcycle and foot patrol teams. We are also documenting violations and crowd through videos and photos.”

Gandhi Nagar

What association says

KK Bali, president of Gandhi Nagar wholesale and readymade garment traders’ association:“Commercial vehicles come here through the day which just adds to the congestion. Due to Diwali, a lot of vendors have occupied pavements.”

What admin says

Sanjeev Kumar, DM Shahdara:“The biggest challenge is congestion, as it is a wholesale market. The lanes are narrow.”

What police say

Amit Sharma, DCP (Shahdara): “I was myself a part of the patrol team in Gandhi Nagar Market. We focused on decongesting the market, building awareness, fining violators.”

Bhagirath Palace

What association says

Arvind Khurana, treasurer, Delhi electrical traders’ association Bhagirath Palace: “There is a rush due to Diwali. It isn’t possible to ban the entry of people into the market. It would have been better had the admin put up vans for Covid testing.”

Nagendra Tripaty, ADM Central: “While the market looks big from the outside, the lanes inside are very narrow and it is difficult to maintain social distancing.”

Anto Alphonse, DCP(North),: “Apart from removing illegal encroachments to ease congestion, our officers are advising people and issuing fines.”

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