Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
Delhi’s Krishna Nagar market is temporarily ‘vehicle-free’ as part of East Delhi Municipal Corporation’s efforts to decongest the area. Beginning 7 October, the EDMC implemented a week-long trial for this pedestrian-friendly model that would hopefully act as an example for other markets in the city.
I visited Krishna Nagar to gauge the response of regular visitors and how they were taking this implementation. I could see bikes moving within the market, but there were no cars.
Given how busy the marketplace is, I assumed that decongestion would be a welcome move. However, there were some mixed responses. While shoppers were happy to see congestion-free streets, some shopkeepers were not so confident about how it could be implemented permanently.
“The move is good for pedestrians, but there are no hawkers on the pavements. They have no customers. The hawkers are upset. Those who earn Rs 500-1,000 a day are affected.”Shopkeeper at Krishna Nagar Market
Akshay Sharma, a resident of Krishna Nagar, however, thinks it was easier for visitors to access shops, which led to more business. He added that the ease of walking around also meant that people would choose markets over malls.
“Earlier, customers would go to the malls. Now, due to the pedestrianisation, the area is more customer-friendly.”Akshay Sharma, a resident of Krishna Nagar
Most shoppers are happy about vehicle-free streets at the Krishna Nagar market, as cars and bikes previously hampered their shopping experience.
“There is space to shop and move around now, that difference is being felt. It was very congested earlier.”Shopper
“It looks clean and the shopping experience is better too. A market should be like this. If there is a lot of congestion, people are unable to shop.”Sarika, Shopper
Some pointed that even if the vehicle-free model gets implemented permanently, it will take time for people to accept it.
“People are not used to it right now. We will have to educate them and inculcate the habit of walking. After that, both shoppers and shopkeepers will get used to it. This is the trial period right now, till 11 October. We will know the impact after that. In the long run, however, this will be beneficial.”Bansi Lal Arora, Shopkeeper
If pedestrianisation works for Krishna Market, should other markets in Delhi follow suit too?
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