For over a decade, Sarita Vihar H block market has been in need of renovation. But repeated requests to the civic agency to spruce up the facilities here have failed. Damaged drainage, tattered flooring and lack of power and water in the toilet complex are some of the issues that need immediate action. With the market infrastructure crumbling, the footfall has reduced and the shopkeepers are losing out on business.
Last renovation of the complex was done in 2003. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) claims that the redevelopment project could not be taken up due to lack of funds. However, the south corporation is believed to have surplus funds and is reportedly the richest among the three civic bodies in the Capital.
The market, which has 150 shops, was constructed in 1994 by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and its maintenance was handed over to the municipality later. In 2003, the repair work was carried out by the DDA after the L-G directed the department. According to shopkeepers, the market saw proper repair and rehabilitation work almost 13 years ago in 1994.
Following much persuasion, the SDMC officials visited the market last month and gave assurance to fix the problems. However, the plan has remained on papers so far.
“Drainage pipelines were laid here in 1994 but due to poor maintenance these are damaged at various places. The faulty drain resulted in waterlogging during the monsoons. For the last one year, the agency has been assuring that the drainage system will be fixed but nothing has been done,” said a shopkeeper on the condition of anonymity.
A toilet complex was constructed in the market three months back, however it is yet to get water and power connection. HT had reported the matter in May 24, following which, the officials of the SDMC’s maintenance department visited the market. “After the newspaper report, a team of officials came and gauged the damage. The team then took the measurement of the damaged storm water drain and floor. Later, an estimate was prepared and we were assured that the work will be started within a month. But nothing happened. When we asked the superintending official Sudhir Mehta, we were informed that due to paucity of funds, money could not be sanctioned,” said Dr SK Awana, president of Sarita Vihar H block Market Association.
The RWA said that the shopkeepers had a series of correspondence with other departments also to resolve the issues. “After the construction of the toilet we did the complete electrical wiring and provided switches on our own. We then approached the sanitation superintendent, SDMC for the permission to install a meter but he refused,” Awana said.