Updated: April 1, 2021 1:05:09 am
Karol Bagh market, a hub of garment shops in North Delhi, would once again be pedestrianised as the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has revoked an earlier order that allowed movement of vehicles there against the backdrop of the pandemic.
The fresh order issued by the deputy commissioner of the Karol Bagh zone reads, “Facility allowing single lane traffic movement for Ajmal Khan road due to non-availability of public transport and Covid-19 pandemic is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect. With this, pedestrianisation of Ajmal Khan Road shall come into effect as approved in the UTTIPEC meeting.”
In May 2019, the North civic body had pedestrianised a stretch of nearly 1.5 km from Pusa Road to D B Gupta Marg to decongest the busy Karol Bagh market. The plan allowed only pedestrians to walk through the central stretch along the non-motorised vehicle (NMV) zone. For decades, Ajmal Khan Road has remained clogged with traffic and haphazard parking, causing inconvenience to visitors.
However, after shopkeepers complained of a fall in business and people avoiding the market due to the pandemic, the North MCD had allowed movement of vehicles in the area in July 2020.
Karol Bagh traders’ federation member Deepak Mulchandani said reversing this order now is not the correct decision as Covid cases are rising again. “This will again impact our business as customers do not want to walk the extra distance between their cars and the shops,” he said.
Deputy commissioner Himanshu Gupta, however, said, “We have provided two parkings nearby and there are golf carts also with the market association, which they can use for bringing people. I don’t think there is any link with Covid and pedestrianisation of the area.”
Mayor of the North MCD Jai Prakash said that if traders have concerns, a meeting will be held with them to listen to their grievances.
Mulchandani said there is no new facility of parking created here in the past two decades even though traders pay development charges to the corporation.
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