Shoppers will continue to jostle for space at the Janpath market as the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the traders of the market have failed to reach a consensus on the re-development project even after five years.
The project, initiated in 2007, has been delayed multiple times. Last month, the NDMC started reviving the plan. The traders have,however, questioned the plan as it has several drawbacks, the primary one being the availability of land.
The civic body plans to rebuild the market into two oval plazas where shops will overlook a courtyard. For this purpose, they plan to use the land behind the LIC building presently being used by NDMC for parking.
NDMC plans to have shops at the ground level with an underground parking. However, an RTI reply by Land and Development Officer says that the land belongs to LIC.
"The NDMC cannot go ahead with a new parking, underground or otherwise, incorporating the plot of land, which does not belong to it," said Sanjiv Bhasin, of the Old Mini Market Traders' Association.
The traders have been opposing the plan since the time they found out in 2010 that the land did not belong to the NDMC. Officials of NDMC,however, maintain that the land has been transferred to the civic body, a claim that is being challenged by the traders.
This confusion is now causing anxiety in the traders who have been holding several meetings with NDMC over the past week and continue to do so.
Adding to the confusion is the row over space that will be allotted to tehbazari owners in the new and redeveloped market. There are 37 shopkeepers in the Old Mini Market and 20 in the New Mini Market.
In addition, there are approximately 100 tehbazari holders, who were allotted tehbazari rights as per Supreme Court's decision in 2000.
"Talks are on with the traders so that a decision can be made on how to redevelop the market," said an official of NDMC.