The great Games shopping hoax | delhi | Hindustan Times
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The great Games shopping hoax

delhi Updated: Sep 18, 2010 23:51 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Traders in Delhi’s markets are clueless about a ‘Commonwealth Games Shopping Festival’ that is supposed to give “huge discounts” during the 12-day event — as being promised by the Organising Committee.

The OC, along with Delhi Traders Association, launched the so-called festival on September 8 at prime markets in Greater Kailash, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Connaught Place and Khan Market among others.

But the markets are singing a different tune these days.

“We have no clue about any discounts or any Games-related festival. Our market has not tied up with anyone,” Sanjeev Mehra, head of the Khan Market Traders Association, told HT. “Some sections, including the organisers, seem to be giving out misleading statements.”

Marketers at Greater Kailash echoed the same concern. “We have no idea about any shopping festival. How can outsiders announce such schemes on our behalf?” said Rajendra Sharda, president of GK Traders Association.

But Surinder Singh Dhir, president of the Delhi Traders Association, said arrangements were in place. “The organisation called Personal Shopper India has joined us to guide foreign shoppers in Delhi by deploying volunteers at markets,” he said.

“Depending on the item, the discounts could go up to 60 per cent,” Dhir said .

Even New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) of Connaught Place, which attended the crucial meeting with the OC regarding the “festival”, said they had merely urged their members to join in. “We cannot guarantee that all shops will join (in). But we must celebrate because it is the Games,” said Atul Bhargava, president of NDTA.

Delhi’s markets have been decking themselves up for all festivals all round the year, especially Diwali and the New Year, said Mehra. “We will be lighting up the market during the Games, but that’s also because it’s the Diwali shopping season, when we do it anyway.”

OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi while launching the so-called shopping festival had said; “We are delighted to announce this Shopping Festival as part of the festive spirit that is set to engulf the city as part of the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010.”