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Sarojini Nagar traders warn of indefinite strike

Shoppers may b left disappointed by a visit to the Sarojini Nagar market in the upcoming days. The traders have warned of going on an indefinite strike, as the number of illegal vendors in the market has increased, which is affecting their business. The shop owners had recently removed extensions from their shops after a drive. The association now wants the authorities to act against vendors intruding the area.

The traders have been complaining to the National Delhi Municipal Corporation for the past six months about the extensive intrusion of these hawkers. These vendors block the narrow lanes o the market and make the area vulnerable. Surrounded by around 60 embassies, the market is always on high alert, but due to this crowding, there is no scope for fire services or an ambulance to get through. No escape route can be planned. In 2005, about 43 people were killed and 28 were injured after a bomb went off on the eve of Diwali.

A senior NDMC official said, “We had removed enroachers a couple of weeks ago but several of them returned with a stay order from the court. Hence we cannot initiate action again. The other problem we face is that as touts keep roaming in the market, it is difficult to track them. The town vending committee will complete a survey in the next 15 days, after which a decision will be made. A plan for redevelopment of the market has also been submitted by the traders association which is being examined by the NDMC.”

There are four markets in Sarojini Nagar- Sarojini Nagar main market (200 shops), vegetable market (65 shops), Babu market (120 shops) and Mini market (120 shops). Ashok Randhawa, president of Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association said over the years the footfall of the market has increased but the agencies are apparently bothered about the security measures.

Source- Hindustan Times e-paper (page 28-I, South Delhi)

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