Evict street vendors from Lajpat Nagar Central Market, orders Delhi HC citing security | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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Evict street vendors from Lajpat Nagar Central Market, orders Delhi HC citing security

The Central Market is mainly favoured by people for the street vendors who sell anything from footwear, clothes, furnishing material and items of everyday use. According to an estimate, the market is a source of livelihood for 800-900 families.

delhi Updated: Jul 07, 2017 00:29 IST
Soibam Rocky Singh
A street vendor at Lajpat Nagar Central Market in New Delhi.
A street vendor at Lajpat Nagar Central Market in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

The Delhi high court has asked police and civic authorities to evict all street vendors from Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, citing concerns over security in the popular bazaar that was targeted by terrorists nearly two decades ago.

In a 50-page judgment, a bench of justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel also asked South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to ensure that the street vendors are not allowed to set up their shops again. The court passed the order on Monday.

One of the most popular shopping destinations in the capital, Central Market is mainly favoured by people for the street vendors who sell anything from footwear, clothes, furnishing material and items of everyday use.

According to an estimate by an association representing the squatters, the market is a source of livelihood for 800-900 families.

A view of the Lajpat Nagar Central Market in New Delhi (Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

On all days except Mondays, the area is crowded with shoppers and vendors, leaving little room for vehicles even on the main road that cuts through Central Market, officially called Pushpa Market.

A site plan submitted to the court showed the roads, lanes, by-lanes and pavements are blocked by unauthorised street vendors.

Street vendors at Lajpat Nagar Central Market in New Delhi. (Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

“The effect of this is fatal and suicidal as in case of a calamity, no vehicles of emergency services, including ambulances or fire trucks, can reach the spot and relief would be hampered on account of obstruction on the roads and by-lanes,” the bench said.

On May 21, 1996, a bomb blast took place market killed 13 people and injured several others.

A high-level probe ordered by the then Lieutenant Governor found that casualties and loss of property was due to delay in reaching the site by emergency services.

Later that year, the L-G declared the entire market areas as a no-squatting zone.

The traders’ association, though advocate Pranav Proothi, said over the years the situation has only worsened with the number of people and street vendors increasing.

After weighing the conflicting rights of livelihood of street vendors versus the life and security of the public, the bench said, “We are of the opinion that the former must bow to the latter as without life and security, no question of earning a livelihood can arise.”

The court said its order will be effective till the authorities decide whether the area will remain a vending zone.