A large number of shopkeepers, displaced from near the city’s Jama Masjid for a re-development plan and rehabilitated recently, are unhappy over the “lack of facilities” in the alternative market opened for them.
After five years of uncertainty over rehabilitation, more than 340 such traders were accommodated in Vijay Coat Market near Shashtri Park Metro station which was unveiled last month. The market has five blocks of 68 kiosks of 6X4 feet.
But traders claim that the Vijay Market has no toilets, electricity, boundary wall or sanitation system though the MCD had promised to provide such facilities. They said they will be forced to go back to the original site if the situation does not change.
The displaced shop owners originally faced problems in rehabilitation and formed the Jama Masjid Displaced Merchants Welfare Association to push their case. Finally, their efforts proved successful when the MCD designated the Shashtri Park site for them last year.
“When we were evicted, the MCD had said it will house us in shops with Mughal-style architecture as part of the Jama Masjid redevelopment project. Nothing happened after that. Following so many years of struggle, we have been given an alternative site, but that suffers from lack of facilities. MCD has breached its promise,” displaced merchants association General Secretary Mohammed Arif said today.
“If the promised facilities are not given to us soon, we will be holding demonstrations and hunger strike to press for our demands,” he said.
Traders from Coat Market, Fish Market and Indira Market near the mosque were removed when the civic body planned an ambitious re-development project for the area in 2005.
However, the re-development plan itself is yet to take off despite getting a conditional clearance from the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC).