Vendors at Darya Ganj’s Sunday Book Bazaar refused to open their stalls in Mahila Haat on Sunday to demand a change in the market time from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Since the pandemic, weekly markets have been instructed to open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Darya Ganj’s Sunday Book Bazaar, which was kicked off the sidewalks and moved to Mahila Haat near Delhi Gate in 2019, also followed the latest schedules.
Vendors have called for changing their hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., as was the case before the pandemic, and have repeatedly approached and written to the district administration, most recently on February 4.
Qamar Sayeed, chairman of the Bazaar Vendors Welfare Association, said: “These times are not good for us or our customers, who are mostly students sometimes from far away places. Not only do they not allow poor people like us to run our affairs properly when cases are down, but it also affects the education of those students, who don’t have the money to shop in expensive places.
Asharfilal Verma, vice president of the association, said: “We have approached the administration on several occasions… We are following all the protocols of social distancing and sanitation.”
About 30 clients, mostly young students, found themselves stranded after reaching Mahila Haat in the early afternoon. Navin Malik (21), from Sonepat and preparing for the UPSC exam, said: “It took me 2-3 hours to get here. I have been here often and tend to find a wide variety of books at affordable prices here.
Geetanjali (21), a master’s student at Delhi University from Shahdara, said: “It took about 2 hours to get here by public transport. I get good quality books here at good prices. Afternoon hours are not very practical for me because my family has restrictions. “
Kotwali Sub-Divisional Magistrate Arvind Rana told The Indian Express: “A joint inspection was carried out by a team on Sunday to assess whether a schedule change is possible. They will submit a report and a decision will then be made.