No end in sight to traders’ plight
A number of shopkeepers, who were shifted from Jama Masjid to Vijay Coat Market near Shastri Park metro station, are unhappy over the lack of facilities in the market.delhi Updated: Apr 26, 2011 23:32 IST
A number of shopkeepers, who were shifted from Jama Masjid to Vijay Coat Market near Shastri Park metro station, are unhappy over the lack of facilities in the market.
According to the traders, who were shifted to the alternative market last month, even basic facilities are missing from the market. The market, which was inaugurated last month, has five blocks of 68 kiosks of 6X4 feet.
After five years of uncertainty over their rehabilitation, more than 340 such traders had been accommodated in Vijay Coat Market near Shastri Park Metro station.
Traders claim that Vijay Market has no toilets, electricity, boundary wall or sanitation, although the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had promised to provide these facilities.
Traders have said that they will be forced to go back to the original site if the situation does not improve.
The displaced shopowners originally faced problems in rehabilitation and formed the Jama Masjid Displaced Merchants’ Welfare Association to push their case.
MCD finally decided to designate the Shashtri Park site for them, last year, wherein all of them were given space to carry out their trading activities.
“When we were evicted, the MCD had said it will house us in shops with Mughal-style architecture, as part of the Jama Masjid redevelopment project. Nothing of that sort happened,” said Mohammed Arif, general secretary of displaced merchants association.
“We had to struggle hard to get space allocated. Following so many years of struggle, we have been given an alternative site, but that suffers from lack of facilities. MCD has breached its promise,” Arif added.
“They had made tall promises but when it came to implementing them, nothing was done. If the promised facilities are not given to us soon, we will be holding demonstrations and hunger strike to press for our demands,” he said further.
Traders from Coat Market, Fish Market and Indira Market, near the mosque, were removed when the civic agency planned an ambitious re-development project for the area in 2005.
However, the redevelopment plan itself is yet to take off despite getting a conditional clearance from the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC).