G20 Summit: Markets in New Delhi district shut till Sunday
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) had ordered hawkers to shut shop from Thursday itself, as restrictions come into full force in its area from Friday morning till Sunday night when the Summit ends
The New Delhi district has been placed under a lockdown of sorts on Friday with all markets closed, roads deserted and police barricades all around, along with heavy deployment of security ahead of the G20 Summit.
In the New Delhi district, also known as the Lutyens’ Zone, even essential/grocery shops in places such as Bengali Market, Connaught Place and Khan Market remained closed.
The New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) had ordered hawkers to shut shop from Thursday itself, as restrictions come into full force in its area from Friday morning till Sunday night when the Summit ends.
Resident Welfare Association (RWA) federations said that while they understood that curbs were necessary in view of a large-scale event, better communication should have been ensured with market associations and RWAs.
Sanjeev Mehra, who heads the Khan Market Traders’ Association, said that the market has voluntarily decided to keep all shops, essential as well as non-essential shops, shut on these three days as all the approach routes are already under heavy security.
Atul Bhargava, who heads the New Delhi Traders Association said opening a few shops would have been a futile exercise when the entire area is shut.
“It is not practical. As far as we know, the market is 100% closed. Who would want to pace periodic harassment while there is no business,” he said.
Gopal Krishan Kotwalwala, president of the Federation of New Delhi RWAs said that all essential shops along the Bengali market were also closed on Friday morning.
“The milk and grocery shops in the Bengali market, refugee market and vegetable sellers near Himachal Bhawan are all closed. We are willing to bear additional restrictions as the event is related to the country’s prestige but the local market associations and RWAs should have been involved in the implementation process. There seems to be a lack of communication,” he added.
Meanwhile, markets outside the restricted zone are gearing up to welcome delegates.
Ashok Randhawa, who heads the Sarojini Nagar mini market association, said the market is completely open and traders have arranged flowers and Tilak-thalis to welcome foreign tourists.
“We have also decided to provide 50% discounts to all tourists. Hoardings have been put up across the market to welcome tourists visiting Delhi for the G20 summit. Footfalls are low but the real situation will become clear later in the day,” he added. The market lies outside the core restriction zone.
The entire area of New Delhi district will be considered as “Controlled Zone-I” from the morning of September 8 till September 10.
Only bona fide residents, authorised vehicles and vehicles dealing with housekeeping, catering, waste management etc., for hotels, hospitals and other important installations in the district will be allowed to travel on C-Hexagon, India Gate and other roads.
Online delivery services, except for medicines, have been barred in the New Delhi district where the G20 Summit venue and hotels for delegates are located.
Metro services across all stations, barring Supreme Court, were accessible for commuters for boarding and deboarding. However, entry and exit from only one gate were permitted at select metro stations.
Commuters travelling to the New Delhi district were also asked to furnish identity cards by security stationed outside metro stations.
All commercial activities will remain banned from Friday to Sunday in the New Delhi district. The G20 event will be held at Pragati Maidan, so activities in and around that area are also restricted.