Encouraged by the visitors’ response to the week-long pedestrianisation plan trial for Sadar Bazar here in a bid to decongest the market, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram has decided to hold another trial for a fortnight from Thursday.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Jaspreet Kaur, also Nodal Officer for the programme, said the response from the visitors was encouraging and therefore, it was decided to hold another trial till April 15.
On the shopkeepers’ objection to mark 700-metre-long stretch only for pedestrians, Ms. Kaur said the customers were allowed to ride only two-wheelers on the stretch. “The aim is not to impose the plan on the shopkeepers and the customers, but to bring about a behavioural change. But the relaxation is only for customers. The shopkeepers need to park their vehicles at the designated parking spaces. We eventually plan to make this stretch vehicle-free,” said Ms. Kaur. She added that the MCG would have zero tolerance for any encroachment on the stretch.
The shopkeepers had downed the shutters on the first day of the MCG’s first phase of trial on March 20. They feared that the customers would be inconvenienced inside the market and that would affect their sales.
Sadar Bazar Vyapar Mandal president Bablu Gupta suggested that the civic body should wait for the multilevel parking lots to be constructed before stopping the vehicles’ entry to the market. “There is not enough space for customers to park their vehicles. If they are stopped from bringing their vehicles to the market, they won’t come,” he said.
World Resources Institute India manager, Priyanka Sulkhlan, argued that there was no dearth of parking space and seven lots were identified with a capacity of 1,500-odd two-wheelers and 200 four-wheelers. She added that the vehicles carrying goods were also allowed to enter the market during specific hours.
Besides the 700-m stretch proposed only for pedestrians, two-wheelers and four-wheelers are allowed in the rest of the market which is spread across 20 hectare.
Sarika Panda Bhatt, founder trustee of Raahgiri Foundation, said that the plan was aimed to decongest Sadar Bazar on the lines of Chandni Chowk and Karol Bagh. She added that the MCG was also open to the idea of allowing a fixed number of e-rickshaws on the stretch.
Both, the WRI and Raahgiri Foundation are knowledge partners in the project.