SRDC to constitute team to address encroachment issues in Chandni Chowk market

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New Delhi, Jul 7 (PTI) The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) has decided to constitute and deploy “Joint Encroachment Prevention Team” to address issues of encroachment by unauthorised hawkers and sanitation in the revamped Chandni Chowk market, officials privy to the development said on Wednesday.

They said necessary instructions in this connection were issued in a meeting of the SRDC, which was chaired by Delhi's Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain, who is also the chairman of the SRDC, on June 25.

The SRDC is the nodal agency constituted for the redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk heritage market.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the “Joint Encroachment Prevention Team” will have officials from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Police to ensure that there is no encroachment in the newly revamped heritage market.

“Commissioner North DMC informed that the 'Joint Encroachment Prevention Team' comprising of officials from North DMC and Delhi Police shall be deployed to deal with civic issues including encroachment by hawkers/vendors etc. while sanitation officials shall be ensuring removal of garbage from designated garbage dumps (dhalaos),” minutes of the meeting, which PTI has seen, stated.

It added, “It was decided that Commissioner North DMC along with Joint Commissioner of Police (Central)/Nodal Officer (Delhi Police) shall review by July 15, 2021 the functioning of the 'Joint Encroachment Prevention Team' and prepare SOPs for carrying out encroachment removal/prevention actions in the entire Chandni Chowk area including SPM Marg, so as to fix accountability for lapses while ensuring encroachment removal drive more effective.” According to traders of the market, encroachment has been a major issue for them.

They said unauthorised vendors on streets and lanes in the busy market were not only encroaching upon the space meant for pedestrians but also adding to the coronavirus spread scare.

Sanjay Bhargava, president Chandni Chowk Sarva Vyapar Mandal, said the encroachment is spoiling the beauty of the redeveloped market.

“Stretches that have been beautified on the corridor can be seen occupied by unauthorised vendors. The authorities should also take care of this problem of encroachment as it will only malign the beauty of the redeveloped areas.

“We follow all the COVID-19 protocols but unauthorised vendors do not adhere to the norms which enhances the possibility of further spread of the virus,” Bhargava said.

According to PWD officials, which is one of the agencies involved in the redevelopment work, the project was approved in August 2018 and work on it began in December 2018 and it was to be completed in March 2020.

But it got delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and its deadline was further pushed to December 2020. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was set to inaugurate the redeveloped Chandni Chowk on April 17 this year but the event was cancelled after the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19.

The redevelopment project envisages the improvement and beautification of 1.3-km-long stretch in Chandni Chowk between the Red Fort and the Fatehpuri Mosque crossing.

The stretch has been developed as a pedestrian-friendly corridor and made aesthetically appealing. PTI AKM AQS AQS

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