It might not be a merry Christmas or a happy New Year for traders in Connaught Place.
With renovation work set to miss the December 31 deadline, traders have decided to call off the annual CP winter festival. This will be the fourth time the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has missed a deadline in the area that’s been dug up since 2009.
The festival — a regular affair for the past 10 years — is a hit with shoppers and traders, with several events and huge discounts planned during December 15-31.
“The annual CP festival is very significant as our sales go up. It’s also a great opportunity for people to have an outing with their family,” says Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders Association.
But with construction material and debris everywhere and several areas barricaded, traders have no option but to cancel the festival this year.
"Our sales could have gone up by 15-20%," rues trader Raoul Khan. Though they admit the deadline cannot be met, NDMC officials claim that the pace of work has increased. "The tunnelling work at middle circle and construction of subways will continue for some time. We are trying to ensure surface and radial work is done by the first week of January," says a senior official.
But that's hardly any consolation for traders. "The entire market is in bad shape, with dug-up roads and dust due to construction. Barricaded roads are also a deterrent for shoppers," says Manish Kumar Singh, a trader in N block.
Shoppers are equally disappointed. "I usually look forward to year-end discounts. I hope the traders change their mind," says Anant Kumar, a college student.