In Panchkula, some markets are more like slums. Chief among them is the Sector-14 market.The inauguration stone of this ‘district shopping centre’ — carrying the name of the then chief minister Bansi Lal here — bears the date September 24, 1998. Even after 16 years, the market has failed to develop completely. But even this stone has been put to use by shantydwellers; the iron railing around is used to hang clothes out to dry!
Starting from the Sector 11-14 roundabout, the parking of the market wears a shabby look, full of litter.
Adding to the woes are roadside shops and fruit-sellers using the parking lot as a giant garbage bin. Just behind the liquor vend of the area, appear shanties that are a prime eyesore of the Sector-14 market. Here, dogs, dumps, debris and human beings exist together.
This is the reason the market couldn’t develop here and a large number of shops are still vacant, say shopkeepers. The cleanliness drive of the administration, or the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, is missing.
As one half of the market is yet to come up, there is a large vacant area where shanties have come up. These are not declared as slums officially, so no effort has been made to provide drinking water and temporary toilets. You enter the inner market and the situation is no different. There are more shanties than shops.
The scene behind the municipal corporation office presents more roadside dwellers.
They clean their utensils, wash clothes in the open, and litter liberally. There is also wild growth all around.
At the back of the Sector-11 market, the stench is unbearable. It houses mechanic shops, broken roads, queues of condemned cars, and heaps of garbage. Even dustbins are missing at both places.