Order on Janpath market closure withdrawn after traders assure strict compliance of COVID protocols

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New Delhi, July 12 (PTI) The New Delhi district administration on Monday withdrew its order directing closure of the popular Janpath market for not following DDMA guidelines after a meeting with the market associations where traders assured it of strict implementation of COVID-19 protocols.

The district administration had on Sunday directed the closure of the market till further orders. 'After the order was issued for closing pedestrian market in Janpath, the district officials held a meeting with them today. It was decided to allow them to open shops with strict implementation of COVID-19 safety measures and other protocols.

'Also, enforcement teams will be deployed permanently to prevent violations of COVID appropriate behaviour,' said a senior district official.

It was informed by the representatives of market association of Janpath that they take full responsibility for ensuring COVID appropriate behaviour and implement the direction of DDMA in letter and spirit, the official added.

The district officials directed that circles shall be marked in front of shops for maintaining proper distance for the waiting customers and provision shall mandatorily be made in individual shops for thermal screening of all the customers and staff deployed at the outlets.

'All persons in the market area shall mandatorily wear masks. No shop allottee shall operate outside his allocated shop area. Further, the space outside the shop as well as the common area including pavements shall not be used for commercial purposes.

The number of visitors to the market shall be regulated by the market trader associations as well as by Delhi Police personal deployed in the market.

The entry and exit of the market shall be manned by both the employees of the market associations as well as Delhi Police, the official said.

Manoj Kumar general secretary of Janpath Mini Market Association said, 'A meeting was held with New Delhi ADM in which the shopkeepers gave an assurance to strictly follow COVID-appropriate behaviour and were then allowed to resume work.' Janpath in Delhi's famous business hub Connaught Place in Central Delhi has three market associations including Janpath Traders Association of shops on the main road, Janpath Bhawan Traders Association and Janpath Mini Market Association of small shops and hawkers.

'The issue concerned small shopkeepers and hawkers in Janpath Mini Market.

'Our shops on the main road are following COVID norms and we are very much careful as we realise the seriousness of coronavirus threat,' said Toni Chawla, president of Janpath Traders Association.

Delhi was under a lockdown from April 19 to May 30 during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Markets were allowed to open from June 7 under a phased reopening plan of the city government.

Markets in Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and parts of Sadar Bazar and Karol Bagh were among those shut in recent weeks by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for violation of COVID-19 norms. PTI GJS/VIT RT

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