Ruhi Bhasin, TNN Jul 17, 2011, 06.45am IST
NEW DELHI: This is a favourite destination for Delhi’s diplomats and foreign tourists to do grocery shopping. But over the years, the high-end INA Market has deteriorated a lot because of lack of proper maintenance — it now reeks of filth with sewer lines overflowing everywhere.
With no civic agency coming forward to take the responsibility and the traders still fighting for their lease deed copies, the association of Indian National Army Market has moved the high court to settle the issues.
“Our market has been ignored by all government agencies for years now. It lacks even the basic civic amenities. We have had to collect money from the traders in the area to create a proper sewage system. We have also pitched in to construct public urinals in the area. With no one willing to carry out the maintenance, we have had to approach the high court,” said Ramesh Bhutani, the president of the INA Market traders association. According to the association, the case will come up again on October 17.
The traders allege they have built the sewage system with their limited means but the system is not connected with the sewage lines of the surrounding areas. “There is no proper outlet for the sewage system. It reeks of filth and dirt and there is stagnant water everywhere. So many diplomats visit the market but no one has bothered with improving the condition of the market. They would rather have people walking around with a cloth or hands over their mouths to keep the foul smell at bay,” said the owner of Krishan Lal Masala Store, Kamal Sharma. The traders claim their market is under the Land & Development Office and has not been transferred to any civic body as yet.
The market has 275 shops which sell imported grocery products, poultry and seafood among other things. “We have been running after all civic agencies to resolve the maintenance problem but no one is willing to do anything. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is more than willing to collect the property tax and the licence fees from us but distances itself from the market beyond this. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which is responsible for parking, has at least improved that area besides upgrading the footpaths,” said Bhutani.
MCD had promised to improve the area by constructing fancy kiosks before the Commonwealth Games but nothing has been done so far. “We are in the process of setting up 151 kiosks. These kiosks will be the temporary tehbazaari sites which will be allocated to the vendors in the area. As far as maintenance of the market is concerned, it is not under us. It is a Central Public Works Department market,” said MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur.
“We have been fighting for the ownership rights of our shops. We paid money in the early 90s to enable the government to lease out these shops to us. But this never happened,” said Surinder Dua, the owner of Vishal Silk Store. Dua said that with the presence of
Several chicken and meat shops and lack of proper waste disposal, the market emanates a foul smell all the time.