Large crowds at Laxmi Nagar market ahead of the Diwali festival in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Large crowds at Laxmi Nagar market ahead of the Diwali festival in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

HT Spot Check: Not far from the madding crowd

HT is conducting spot checks in different parts of the city to check whether social distancing norms and mask hygiene are being followed, and questioning the authorities about why they are being unable to put measures in place, and how they plan to address the problem.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON NOV 13, 2020 07:35 AM IST

Despite new Covid-19 infections in the Capital spiralling, and experts urging people to avoid crowding, markets have swelled during the festive season. HT is conducting spot checks in different parts of the city to check whether social distancing norms and mask hygiene are being followed, and questioning the authorities about why they are being unable to put measures in place, and how they plan to address the problem. Need we remind you, the coronavirus disease has already infected over 465,000 people in the city, and taken more than 7,000 lives.

LAXMI NAGAR MARKET

What association says

Ravinder Yadav, president of Laxmi Nagar market association, said: “Police are issuing fines for not maintaining distance inside the shops, but there is no check on the streets. This is the only time we can do some business. After several requests, we got the entry of four-wheelers inside the market banned.”

What DM says

Arun Kumar Mishra, DM East, said: “We have regulated the entry and exit of vehicles at the market, and they are not allowed in the inner lanes. Strict action is being taken against shops and people who are not adhering to Covid-appropriate behaviour.”

What police say

Deputy commissioner of police (east) Jasmeet Singh said: “Vehicular movement and presence of street vendors and hawkers on the road are the main causes of overcrowding in the market. We put barricades on the main entry and points of the market to stop the entry of vehicles. Joint teams of police, district administration and MCD officials, along with civil defence volunteers regularly remove and fine street vendors and hawkers. Prosecution for not wearing masks and violating distancing norms has been increased.”

People out at Ajmal Khan market amid huge crowds for the upcoming festive season, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
People out at Ajmal Khan market amid huge crowds for the upcoming festive season, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
What association says

Ajay Bajaj, advisor, Karol Bagh Traders’ Federation, said: “Streets are flooded with people, largely due to illegal hawkers. Traffic on Arya Samaj Road has gone up due to the closing of Ajmal Khan Road.”

What admin says

Balram Meena, SDM, Karol Bagh, said: “The administration along with police and municipal staff is conducting daily flag marches urging people to follow social distancing.”

What police say

DCP (Central) Sanjay Bhatia said: “It is a large market with high footfall. We are doing our best to ensure no crowding.”

Sadar Bazar brimming with shoppers ahead of Diwali festival, in New Delhi. (Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times)
Sadar Bazar brimming with shoppers ahead of Diwali festival, in New Delhi. (Biplov Bhuyan/ Hindustan Times)
What association says

Devraj Baweja, general secretary, Confederation of Sadar Bazaar Traders Association, said: “The biggest problem was encroachments, which have been removed. We have told all traders not to allow people who are not wearing masks.”

What admin says

Nagendra Tripathi, ADM (Central): “We have set up six incident command posts with 6-8 civil defence volunteers. We have issued close to 200 challans to people who are violating the Covid norms.”

What police say

DCP (North) Anto Alphonse said: “Vehicle entry is restricted inside. Our officers on the ground are conducting checks and requesting people not to crowd.”

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