While the Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) Stadium bustled with energy on Sunday — the opening day of the Games — the rest of the city wore a deserted look. Malls, shops, cinema halls, restaurants and even local grocers were shut, and roads were empty.
The Delhi government had asked the traders of all major markets — including Connaught Place, Khan Market, Lajpat Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh and South Extension — to down their shutters for the opening ceremony.
Residents complained that they couldn’t even buy grocery. “Dwarka is at least 23 km from JLN Stadium. I don’t understand why our local market had to be shut,” Maya Singh, a resident of Dwarka Sector 2, said.
Traders were equally unhappy. Some in places like Chandni Chowk and CP alleged the police forced them to shut shop. They complained that the business they do on Sunday is equivalent to six days and this being the festive season, they had planned to stay open. They claimed the lost day cost them R350 crore.
The police, on their part, said they were just following orders. “It is the directive of the Delhi government,” said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.