The municipal corporation’s sealing drive has claimed its first few victims in Delhi’s posh Khan Market — its iconic magazine stands.
As a part of its crackdown, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) pulled down two landmark magazine stands — Bahrisons and Mercury Media — last week.
“The authorities said that the stand was an obstruction to the people in the market. We’ve had it up and running for years, but never had any such complaints, so this was surely a rude shock for us. We can’t sell the magazines from inside the shop so we’ve had to stop selling them altogether,” says Dinesh Arora of Mercury Media stand.
“We were asked to pack up from the side lane and move everything indoors,” says Rajesh Dhamija of Bahrisons. Regulars aren’t happy. “I used to go to those magazine stores since I was 13 or so. My monthly dosage of reading came from there. This is just such a shame that they’ve been shut down,” says designer Siddartha Tytler.
Designer Ravi Bajaj says, “I have been a client of Bahrisons for a long while. If they were encroaching on public land, then it’s justified. But this should not be done in a ‘pick and choose’ manner.” The middle lane of the market, a foodies’ haven with hole-in-the wall hotpots such as Al Bake and Chicago Pizza, has also been shut.
Other shop owners, too, feel this is unfair. “These shops were as well known as the market itself, and their closure is surely a big disappointment for all of us,” says Saleem Mohammad of the iconic Khan Chacha Kebab outlet.