Piles of garbage, stinking toilets and puddles of water welcome visitors at the rehri markets across Chandigarh. These markets are sets of booths that offer everything from household items to shoes and clothes at reasonable rates.
The most popular of these are the Shastri Market in Sector 22, Sadar Bazaar in Sector 19, and the Sector-15 rehri market. A reality check reveals how unkempt these areas are, and how even the residents continue to litter.
A visit to the market in Sector 15D shows garbage strewn in corners and hardly any bins for numerous plastic bags. A garbage-bin installed right at the entrance of the market is rusted, and overflowing. Empty packets of eatables are particularly seen everywhere. And even if a shopkeeper has cleaned the area around his shop, he piles up the garbage in the nearest corner.
Tissues are handed to visitors at juice shops outside, but no one bothers to set up bins to collect these; and visitors appear least bothered. Most people just litter the road and drive away. The roughage of fruits is also thrown around the shop.
“I have been coming to the Sector-15 market for shopping for the past five years, and I have seen the state of hygiene deteriorate. Shopkeepers hardly care,” says Pavni Arora, a Panjab University student.
The worst scenario is at the back of the market that has dhabas and other small eateries meant mainly for students staying in the area as paying guests due to the proximity with Panjab University. As you cross by the dhabas, waste of vegetables is piled just outside these restaurants. Toilets are just next to the restaurants which stink.
This market in Sector 22 is only a shade better than the Sector-15 market in terms of cleanliness. It is among the most frequented marketplaces in the city.
As the visitors enter the lane leading towards the market, garbage on both sides welcomes them. Littering is quote common as visitors keep throwing poly packets and tetra packs. Bins set up at the entrance of the market overflow but are hardly emptied. Toilets are also in bad condition.
Stalls and carts of eateries worsen the situation with people snacking and then throwing the paper plates on the roadside. The municipal corporation needs to put up more bins, apparently.
“The Sector- 22 rehri market is perhaps the oldest in the city, and people from other states also come here. Shopkeepers and the authorities concerned should improve the condition of the market and ensure cleanliness in and around it,” says Raghubir Yadav, resident of Sector 42.
At this Sadar Bazaar, too, the garbage welcomes and flies welcome you. The market has a large concentration of garment shops, and the area is left littered with packing material, polythene and other such items. Heaps of garbage can be seen behind the market.