DDMA shuts Laxmi Nagar market over COVID-19 protocol violation
The Laxmi Nagar main market and some nearby marketplaces have been closed by the East Delhi district administration till July 5 following a violation of COVID-19 protocols, officials said on Wednesday. In an order issued on Tuesday, Sonika Singh, Chairperson of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (East District), said, "The shopkeepers were unable to comply with COVID-19 protocols last Sunday due to large footfall."
'Market Welfare Association failed to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines'
The COVID-19 guidelines are being contravened in the Main Bazar, Laxmi Nagar which may cause super spreading of the coronavirus. The Market Welfare Association has failed to ensure strict compliance with guidelines of COVID-19, the order said. It was necessary to take immediate and stringent action to curtail the spread of the virus in the larger interest of the public, it added.
Essential goods and services shops to remain open
The areas that will remain closed till July 5 include the Laxmi Nagar main market from Vikas Marg to Lovely Public School, Kisan Kunj, and its surrounding markets like Mangal Bazaar, Vijay Chowk, Subhash Chowk, Jagatram Park, and Guru Ramdas Nagar. The restrictions are applicable to all shops except those dealing with essential goods and services.
Chamber of Trade and Industry slammed the order
Reacting to the order, the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) said the markets were being made a soft target. "There are about 950 small and big markets in Delhi, out of which even 50 markets will not see crowds. There is no business due to COVID-19," CTI Chairman Brijesh Goyal said. "Markets and traders are the backbones of the economy," he added.
It is not our responsibility to control crowds: CTI chairman
According to Goyal, it is not the traders' responsibility to control crowds in marketplaces. "A trader can ensure compliance of COVID-19 guidelines inside his shop. Police and administration are responsible for the roads, outside the market area, and public places," he said. He added that a CTI team would meet the Laxmi Nagar Police and the local district magistrate over the issue.
Officials didn't even talk to us once: Business leader
Laxmi Nagar's business leader Raj Garg reiterated the concerns of the CTI. "Officials did not even talk to the traders' organizations by coming to the market. There is a situation of traffic jams in the markets in the evening due to which the crowd is visible. The responsibility of the crowd on the streets outside the shops lies with the police administration," Garg said.