Delhi’s Karol Bagh traders faction protests against pedestrianisation of Ajmal Khan Road
The traders demanded that the Delhi civic body either allows vehicular movement on Ajmal Khan road or opens at least one lane for vehicles. They are also demanding more parking space.Updated: Jul 18, 2019 04:33 IST
A section of Karol Bagh market traders protested against the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday, saying they were not consulted before the pedestrianisation of Ajmal Khan Road. Traders claimed that the plan has caused “loss of up to 80% business” since May 1, when it was implemented.
Several shops on the main Ajmal Khan Road were closed from 11 am to 2 pm on Wednesday. “Our business is suffering with shoppers not being able to get their cars here. We conducted an internal survey among 354 shopkeepers which revealed that traders have lost close to 80% of the business,” said Vinod Monga, a trader associated with the Karol Bagh Retailers’ Association.
The traders demanded that the civic body either allows vehicular movement on Ajmal Khan road or opens at least one lane for vehicles. They are also demanding more parking space.
The traders also raised fire safety concerns. “We have several concerns regarding the market’s beautification and new traffic circulation plan implemented by the North corporation. They have constructed concrete bollards and benches in the middle of the road. In case of fire, how will fire tenders reach the spot? How will ambulances enter if a senior citizen visitor collapses?” asked Deepak Mulchandani, another trader with the association.
In May this year, the North corporation pedestrianised Ajmal Khan Road and installed garden lamps and bollards here. This was part of the civic agency’s plan to beautify and pedestrianise four markets in its jurisdiction -- Karol Bagh, Kamla Nagar, Sadar Bazar and Kirti Nagar.
A trader with another market association in Karol Bagh, Vyapar Mandal (Ajmal Khan Road), however, said that their group was consulted by the civic body and they had given their consent to the plan. “We have a lot of traders with us and we were consulted by the civic body before the plan was implemented. We think the corporation’s plans to remove street vendors is good and we support it,” said Murli Mani of the Vyapar Mandal group.
North corporation commissioner Varsha Joshi said, “We have had an elaborate meeting with these traders today and we are already on track to address their concerns and resolving them.”
First Published: Jul 17, 2019 23:11 IST