Closed for Games, Delhi markets suffer losses

New Delhi, Oct 18, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) Markets in the national capital Thursday suffered massive losses after being ordered shut for the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, traders said.

‘It’s been a huge business loss for markets. Particularly since it is festival time. We will see a loss of Rs.300 crore,’ Confederation of All India Traders Association’s (CAIT) secretary general Praveen Khandelwal told IANS.

All the major markets like Connaught Place, Khan Market, Lajpat Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Greater Kailash I and II, Karol Bagh, Defence Colony and South Extension were shut for the day.

He also said that the general business during the Games also saw a dip.

‘I don’t see any reason for closing the markets. On one side, the Delhi government says they are promoting the shopping but they virtually blocked the foreign tourists from visiting the markets with tight security,’ Khandelwal said.

Anil Bhargava, a trader in Khan Market, said: ‘Many traders in Connaught Place, Khan Market, South Extension had stocked various items like ‘Pashmina’ shawls, handmade accessories and articles which generally attracts the foreign tourists. Out of the few thousands who came for the Games, only a few hundreds visited the markets and purchased. This led to a major loss for traders.’

The Delhi Police wanted the markets to be closed as they didn’t have enough police force.

‘It is hard to give enough security to the markets so as a precaution we have asked them to close,’ a police officer said.

Jagmohan Sethi, president of the Greater Kailash-I M-Block market, said: ‘The loss will be more since both the opening and closing ceremonies are held in the first 15 days of October, which is the time when Delhiites spend the most in shopping.’

With restaurants, malls and movie theatres, which doesn’t fall under the Games route, being allowed to operate Thursday, traders alleged that it was a partial move.

‘Many traders feel it is utter partiality that just the markets are shut while some of the restaurants and cinema halls are open,’ Sethi said.

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