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No-hitch shopping

Many markets and even malls fall short of important facilities such as security, parking and public toilets. Take a look...

entertainment Updated: Feb 13, 2010 02:07 IST
Shweta Jain

In today’s HT City Shopping Carnival feature, we put the spotlight on the infrastructure — and lack of it — at various malls and markets in the Capital.

When you vote for your favourite market or mall, take into account the public conveniences available, hygiene, security and easy accessibility and parking space. That’s because poor infrastructure and lack of basic conveniences such as ATMs can mar an otherwise great trip to a high street, flea market or mall.

What is the most important requirement at any shopping hub? Well, many would pick parking space. After all, it’s a major problem at most markets in Delhi. The more popular the market, the worse its parking conditions. Take for instance markets such as Sector 18 in Noida, Rajouri Garden, Kamla Nagar, Khan Market, Connaught Place, GK-1 M-block, South-Ex parts 1 and 2, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Chandni Chowk, Defence Colony and Central Market, Lajpat Nagar... each of them is choc-a-block with vehicles during rush hour, while weekends can be a nightmare situation for drivers.

Malls do offer a variety of food options and entertainment in terms of movie halls and games arenas. But if it cannot provide enough parking, a trip there can become a major hassle. Wasting 15-20 minutes waiting for your turn to park the car can ruin a day out with family or friends.

Apart from parking space, there are some malls that are not kept clean even though they might be offering the best shopping deals. And the first thing you would want in a mall is placards for directions, which may or may not be in place. As far as markets are concerned, only a few are up to the mark in terms of security, cleanliness and easy navigation. Janpath and Basant Lok Market, for example, have security guards and metal detectors placed at all entrance points.

Coming to the issue of public conveniences — no matter how important it is to have this facility near markets, they are a rarity. Even markets in posh localities lack public toilets — or clean toilets — especially for women. The consequence is for all to smell — stinking corners in every market.

So while you partake in the gala festivities marking the HT City Shopping Carnival and vote for your favourite shopping hub, take out time to consider these basic, but important, facilities, too.