"All shopkeepers and their staff at Delhi's popular Sarojini Market have been administered both does of COVID-19 vaccine, making the shopping hub a "fully vaccinated" market," officials said on Thursday. The Chanakyapuri sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) on Thursday distributed certificates of "fully vaccinated market" to its five market associations.
Officials said that all the registered street vendors in the market have also been vaccinated. There are around 100 registered vendors authorised by the New Delhi Municipal Council. The Sarojini Nagar Market is one of the most popular shopping destinations of the city having average footfall of nearly 10,000 people per day in normal conditions.
The market has drawn criticism for violation of COVID-19 protocols during the second and third waves of the pandemic. It was shut on December 25 and 26 last year following a huge crowd and violation of Covid appropriate behaviour by shoppers and market staff as well. The officials said that four shops in the market were sealed earlier this week for not adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.
A senior official of the New Delhi district said that it was conveyed to all the market associations that any new staff member joining would also have to be fully vaccinated. "To ensure this, an undertaking has also been taken by the heads of the market associations," the official said.
Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association president Ashok Randhawa said there are around 600 shops in the market with around 2,000 staff members, including shop owners. "Now I am glad to say that our market is fully vaccinated. All the workers, managers and shop owners are fully vaccinated here. Certificates have also been issued in this connection," Randhawa told PTI.
He said that they have been asked to paste these certificates at the gates of each shop so that customers visit the market without any fear. He said that a few days back the market associations here were directed by the New Delhi district magistrate to ensure full vaccination of every staff and shop owner and submit vaccination certificates to the DM office.
"We submitted vaccination certificates to the DM office around two days back. Today the the Chanakyapuri SDM gave us fully vaccinated market certificates,” Randhawa said. He, however, added that due to the pandemic and subsequent restrictions the footfall in the market have drastically gone down from 10,000 to 2,000 people per day.
"We appeal the to central as well as the state government to help traders. They should help us by either waiving the rent or moratorium on EMIs," he said. Randhawa said that the district administration has set up a vaccination camp in the market and a COVID-19 testing centre near the metro station.
With PTI Inputs