The Chemical Market in Narela’s Integrated Freight Complex (IFC) is vacant, with most offices and godowns’ shutters and doors locked and development work on some plots abandoned in the middle.
Traders have yet to begin functioning from Narela, three years after the market was relocated from Chandni Chowk after Delhi high court rulings in 2019 following a court challenge challenging the decongestion of the Walled City.
While the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) provided them with land, traders claim that the new market’s lack of infrastructure and essential utilities, including as water, sewerage, a police station, and banks, has prompted them to hunt for alternatives outside of Delhi. The majority of them have bought or rented godown space in Kundli (Haryana), which is only 5 kilometres from Narela, or Sahibabad (Uttar Pradesh), as well as other nearby states.
According to Raj Kumar Kapoor, president of Rang and Rasayan Vyapar Sangh, an association of dyes and chemical merchants, 720 dealers have been allocated plots at IFC on a 30-year lease in phases since 2001. “It’s been two decades, and the infrastructure still isn’t in place.
“We have suffered greatly as a result of DDA’s bad planning and delays in delivering basic services,” he says.
Paper merchants from Chawri Bazaar were relocated to the IFC in Ghazipur in 2004-05, and vendors from the old tyre market on Gaushala Road near the Rani Jhansi flyover to Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in 2015. These markets were relocated to make way for road expansion projects or to help the city decongest.
Their main worries are the same: a lack of infrastructure, which is a key concern; however, there are issues with plot sizes, a lack of freedom to conduct allied commerce, and so on, according to merchants in these marketplaces.
The challenges that these dealers face are examined by HT.
Infrastructure is lacking.
Despite the fact that the DDA allocated plots to traders in 2001, the traders began erecting their offices and workshops at Narela IFC in 2019 as per the high court’s directions. While chemical sellers have been forbidden from maintaining even offices in Chandni Chowk, those in the dyes and colour sector have been allowed to continue functioning in the Walled City by the old NorthDelhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
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