New Delhi, December, 12 : The local markets in the national capital is also struggling due to the economic slowdown and specially the Bengali market where shopkeepers are complaining that they are being ruined and NDMC is playing a major role by towing away the vehicles.
The Bengali Market Traders’ Association (BMTA) held a protest, against the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC)’s decision to increase the per-hour parking fee in the area by more than double.
The shopkeepers are complaining that their business is taking a hit and then the authorities come up with such policies without even speaking to them.
The association members claimed that their business has gone down by 50% since July as a result of the NDMC’s “unilateral” decision.
In July this year, the NDMC had increased the parking fee from ₹20 per hour to ₹50 per hour.
“This was done to discourage parking on busy roads and instead, get people to use multilevel parking lots,” a senior NDMC official said.
Since Thursday, the BMTS members cordoned the two approach roads to Bengali Market—Tansen Marg and Babar Road—forcing motorists to take a detour. As a mark of protest, over 30 shops here, including the Bengali Sweet House, Nathu Sweets, Rama Colour Lab, Gupta Store and Bee Kay Drycleaners, including others, also stayed closed for the day.
“We have customers who even come for two samosas, which costs about 26 here. Why would they want to pay 50 for parking?” Vishal Kansal, co-owner of the Bengali Sweet House said.
Shopkeepers pointed out that to avoid paying ₹50 per hour for parking, visitors to the Bengali Market have now started parking their cars illegally on adjacent roads like the Todarmal Marg.
“The concessionaire for the NDMC now tows their vehicles and takes them to their office near Shivaji Stadium. The visitors have to go all the way and pay ₹1,000 as penalty to get their vehicles,” president of the market association Mukesh Gupta said to English daily.
The Bengali Market turnabout accommodates 25 cars along the pavement at any given time in a row. Sometimes, the concessionaire parks them in two rows as well, taking the total vehicle number to 50, shopkeepers said.