Video Editor: Rajbir Singh
Chandni Chowk, one of Delhi's oldest markets went through a revamp in 2021. The revamp was done from the Red Fort to Fathehpuri Masjid, a 1.3 km area.
My friend and I visited the market in the first week of February. Unfortunately, even after more than a year, the reality on the ground isn't what had been promised to the locals living or working there.
From broken street lights to public washrooms out of order, the revamped model of Chandni Chowk is quite different from how it appears on paper.
The Delhi government created rules such as allowing a limited number of rickshaw pullers and issuing licenses to them.
In reality, these rules have yet to make much of a difference, and the rickshaw pullers' woes remain unchanged.
'Demand For Fixed Rate For Rickshaws'
We spoke to a few rickshaw pullers to understand their issues and if the revamp brought any changes in their lives.
Mohd. Hamidul, 28, who migrated to Delhi from Bihar in 2015 and has been working as a rickshaw puller ever since then, said, "The rent we pay daily for these rickshaws is Rs 200-250. If there’s any damage that happens to the rickshaw, it has been taken care of by us, and we are supposed to pay for it".
'There is no fixed rate for this, and there are people who take Rs 70-80, but there are people who also charge Rs 200-250. I pay around Rs 3,500-3,600 monthly, and it takes me around five days to earn that much.'Mohd. Hamidul, Rickshaw puller
The rent for the rickshaws has drastically increased, which has added to the problems of these rickshaw pullers.
"Earlier, we were paying Rs 120 for the rickshaw, but now we are giving Rs 200. For someone who has to support a family, what are they going to do? We want fixed prices, but what can we do? They are not fixing any rates for these," said another rickshaw puller.
No Drinking Water, Washrooms Out of Order
Many taps and washrooms were made for people in this area as tourists keep visiting this place. But as we came to check these, there was no water to be found in the taps.
As we were trying to record, we were stopped by the guard and were told that we could not shoot there. We were told that this is due to some electricity issue. But this isn't the first time there was no drinking water available.
A year ago, this was done with much hope, but that’s not the reality. Many rules and promises were made, but the reality on the ground seems different.
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