The once happening Defence Colony flyover market is now a mere shadow of its former self. Broken footpaths, potholed roads, clogged drains and garbage strewn all over -- there is everything to deter shoppers from venturing inside.
The market, which was developed way back in 1975, and has 353 shops scattered underneath the flyover, is a clear victim of civic apathy. Forty per cent shops now shutting down due to loss in business.
The story does not end there. The potholed roads have resulted in traders shelling out a huge amount of money to repair their vehicles.
For the past few years, the main road leading to the market has been damaged. The matter was taken up the matter with the authorities, but it still has not been repaired.
The unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was responsible for the maintenance of the roads -- a task it failed to complete. The roads were transferred to the Public Works Department (PWD). However, even the PWD has not taken up the repair work so far.
“Many cars have been damaged after falling in the potholes. In the past few years, footfall has taken a hit. There are times when we wait for hours and not a single shopper turns up. This used to be a hub of designer boutiques, jewellery shops and restaurants but all that has changed now,” said Harvinder Singh Rana, who has a jewellery shop in the market and has written to the agencies several times.
Traders say the potholed roads also result in traffic jams.
“I had to get my car repaired last week after the shock absorber got damaged. I had to spend R 3,000. And this happens on a regular basis,” said Vinay Manchanda, who has a shop in the market.
PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said tenders for the repair work will be called soon. “The roads are in a bad shape because the MCD did not do its work properly. This is why we took the roads under our jurisdiction. We will start work on the roads soon,” said Chauhan.
Traders rue the fact that despite being a centrally located commercial market and paying the huge property taxes, the civic facilities have not improved.