Displaced from Jama Masjid, shopkeepers get a new address | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Displaced from Jama Masjid, shopkeepers get a new address

After years of waiting, more than 340 shopkeepers displaced from the Jama Masjid area on Saturday got a kiosk at a site near Shashtri Park Metro station. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 20, 2011 00:02 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

After years of waiting, more than 340 shopkeepers displaced from the Jama Masjid area on Saturday got a kiosk at a site near Shashtri Park Metro station.

MCD councillor Mehmood Zia inaugurated the new complex named as Vijay Coat Market that has five blocks with 68 kiosks of 6X4 feet size.

Traders and shopkeepers from Coat Market and Indira Market in the vicinity of the historic Jama Masjid were removed from the precincts when the civic body embarked on a re-development project for the area in 2005. These were mostly single units that tailored wholesale orders of readymade garments.

The then Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) commissioner promised them small yet beautiful kiosks in another upcoming building in the area with similar architecture to that of the Mughal era buildings that abound the old city.

However, when they faced problems owing to rehabilitation, all shopkeepers' unions came together.

The Jama Masjid Displaced Merchants' Welfare Association was formed that started soon an agitation. The agitators also gheraoed the local leaders as a mark of their protests.

"We pursued the case at all levels. It was the then deputy commissioner Vijay Singh who empathised with us," said Mohd Arif, general secretary of the association.

Singh was instrumental in chalking out a proper rehabilitation plan, which was passed by the MCD's standing committee in 2009. Deep Mathur, MCD director (press and information), said: "The site near Shashtri Park Metro station was provided more than a year ago by the MCD to rehabilitate the shopkeepers displaced from Jama Masjid area."

However, even on the day when the market was inaugurated, the shopkeepers were not entirely happy.

"There is no water, no power. Not even a toilet block. How do they expect us to work from here?" questioned Arif.