Updated: April 19, 2021 12:53:16 pm
Many markets across Delhi such as the Chawri Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar, Chandni Chowk, and others, have shut down Monday, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise steeply; while other retail markets such as at Lajpat Nagar, Khan Market, Connaught Place, have decided not to take such drastic measures yet, and shall come to a conclusion by today evening.
With Delhi reporting close to 25,000 cases of Covid-19 in a day, hospitals in the city are grappling with depleting oxygen supply, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also acknowledging on Sunday that “oxygen has become an emergency in Delhi”.
Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) told The Indian Express, “In order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and to help the government focus on augmenting the medical infrastructure, while also endeavoring to save ours and customers’ lives, many market associations have imposed a voluntary self-lockdown till April 25, some till April 21. The closure of commercial markets will help curb the spread in a major way. And we wish to protect us and our families, as this year is different than the last.”
The CAIT has also appealed to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to announce a lockdown of 15 days in Delhi as done in Rajasthan and other states to break the chain of Covid-19 in Delhi.
Sadar Bazaar association’s president and head of the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh Dev Raj Baweja said, “We have decided to shut down till April 25, as for us, saving our lives is most important – and many traders have family who have contracted the virus which has had an impact as well. This is more panic this time.”
The markets which have shut down till April 25 as per CAIT, are: Chawri Bazar, Bhagirath Palace, Old Lajpat Rai Market, New Lajpat Rai Market, Dariba, Nai Sadak, Khari Baoli, Chemical Market, Photo Market, Cycle Market, Mori Gate, Ashok Vihar, various Markets of Karol Bagh, Gandhi Nagar, Shanti Mohalla Market, various Markets of East Delhi, Computer Market, Rubber Plastic Market, among others.
Several trade associations of Delhi including the Confederation of Sadar Bazar Traders Association, Delhi Iron & Hardware Merchants Association, Chandni Chowk Sarva Vyapar Mandal, Karol Bagh Wholesale Footwear Association, Fruit Market Association, Dariba Vyapar Mandal, Shanti Mohalla Traders Association, Kinari Bazar Gota Jari Welfare Association, Delhi Swarnkar Sangh, Mori Gate Traders Association and others have also announced to close their markets voluntarily.
Retail markets have not decided to enforce any such measure yet.
Ashwani Marwah, general secretary of the traders’ association of Lajpat Nagar was not in favour of the closure of markets. “The markets of Sadar, Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar are wholesale markets and there is immense crowding there, with no chance of social distancing. At our retail markets of CP, Lajpat Nagar, or Khan market, we are religiously following social distancing and sanitisation norms, and we shall continue to do so. We can reduce timings and even enforce odd-even – alternate shops open on alternate days.”
The retail markets shall convene a meeting at 3 pm Monday to decide the further course of action.
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