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Daryaganj book market remains shut for the fifth week in a row

Qamar Sayeed, president, Sunday Books Bazaar Welfare Association said that North MCD officials assured him that the market would be allowed to function from February 4.

delhi Updated: Jan 28, 2018 22:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
daryaganj,book market,sunday book market
Empty pavements from the road between Daryaganj and Redfort in New Delhi on January 12. The market is still shut.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The Sunday Daryaganj book market remained closed for the fifth week in a row on Sunday.

The Hindustan Times on January 13 reported that municipal authorities were not allowing the iconic Delhi market to function in view of the Republic Day celebrations and the ASEAN summit, triggering widespread outrage among book lovers and city residents.

More than 250 book sellers put up their stalls on the pavement along Netaji Subhash Marg and Asaf Ali Road starting from the Daryaganj-Faiz Bazar crossing to Delite Cinema every Sunday. Started in 1964, this market is known for rare book titles — course books, biographies, memoirs, quiz books, coffee table books, encyclopedias, magazines, and even entrance exam books— that are available here at throwaway prices.

The vendors, however, hoped that they would be allowed from the next week.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation officials had earlier told the booksellers that it was an anti-encroachment drive in and around Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid. The civic body had said that only authorised booksellers would be permitted to set up their stalls.

Qamar Sayeed, president, Sunday Books Bazaar Welfare Association said that North MCD officials assured him that the market would be allowed to function from February 4.

“We met the deputy commissioner, City-Sadar Paharganj Zone of the municipal corporation. She said ASEAN leaders will be in the city till January 29. We hope we would be able to continue our business from next Sunday,” said Sayeed.

Ruchika Katyal, deputy commissioner, City-Sadar Paharganj Zone, said, “I am in touch with the booksellers. It was mutually decided this way, and it should start from next week.”

Unlike earlier, several vendors selling knick-knack, clothes, shoes, and restaurant cutlery now squat parallel to the books market, which result in traffic snarls and chaos in the area, officials said.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal, an Old Delhi resident and an RTI activist, said that officials should come out with a solution that ensures removal of encroachment without affecting the functioning of the book market.

“The market has its own charm and history. Encroachment should not affect its existence. Officials have done well by carrying out anti-encroachment drive. Traffic now moves smoothly. Similarly, officials should work out something that ensures the old book market continues to operate in future without any hindrance,” said Agrawal.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 22:27 IST