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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Delhi: Sarojini Nagar packed, administration mulls curbs

🔴 A police officer posted at the market said: “Fines of Rs 2,000 are being imposed on those not wearing masks, spitting, and failing to observe social distancing.”

Written by Abhinaya Harigovind | New Delhi |
December 24, 2021 1:50:03 am
Sarojini Nagar, Sarojini Nagar market, Delhi police, Covid curbs, social distancing, Covid curb violation, Delhi news, Delhi city news, New Delhi, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsShoppers throng the Sarojini Nagar market, most flouting social distancing norms, Thursday. (Tashi Tobgyal)

The popular Sarojini Nagar market saw a deluge of shoppers on Thursday — most violating social distancing norms — prompting the district administration to consider curbs to stem the crowd.

On Thursday, announcements were being made via a microphone at the market, asking people to keep masks on and follow Covid-related restrictions while police, civil defence volunteers, and staff of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) attempted to enforce protocol.

Vasant Vihar SDM Ankur Prakash Meshram said the situation will be also be monitored on Friday: “Maybe over the weekend, we will go for a system where half the shops are open on Saturday and half on Sunday, though this is not official yet.”

According to an NDMC official, they were engaged in clearing “encroachments” from streets to avoid overcrowding. A vehicle was deployed Thursday to clear wares of vendors who set up shops along the roadside.

A police officer posted at the market said: “Fines of Rs 2,000 are being imposed on those not wearing masks, spitting, and failing to observe social distancing.”

SDM Meshram said around 70 staffers from the DM and SDM offices have been posted at the market to keep an eye on crowds. “Covid testing is being done here; around 1,500 to 1,600 people were randomly tested on Wednesday. Around 160 people were vaccinated on Wednesday, including shopkeepers and the public. Shopkeepers have been asked to get their staff vaccinated. The camp at the market begins at around 9 am,” he added.

Kuldeep Singh Sawhney, president of the Sarojini Market Shopkeepers Association, said crowds are expected to reduce after Christmas: “During the day, the crowd grows, but eases up in the evening. It will thin out after Christmas… it happens during this time of the year. Staffers at shops are being vaccinated, and most have already been vaccinated… Shopkeepers are not allowing people into shops if they aren’t wearing masks.”

Shop owners said efforts were being made to ensure that those wearing masks are allowed into shops. Om Dutt Sharma, who owns a clothes shop, said: “It’s a big market. We can only appeal to people to wear masks and visit if they absolutely need something.”

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