‘Main Chandni Chowk does not have sufficient space to house cloud kitchens and food trucks’.
New Delhi: As one of Delhi’s largest wholesale market, Chandni Chowk has been proposed by Delhi government to be made an international food hub. The All Trade Association of Chandni Chowk says the development of the food hub may not be on the already revamped road. “It could be at Parathe Wali Gali, Fatehpuri, Church Mission Road etc, which are the main food markets in the place,” the Association said.
The Association believes that the main Chandni Chowk does not have sufficient space to house the cloud kitchens and food trucks, moreover, many food-points are in the nearby-linked places.
However, talking to The Sunday Guardian, president of the Chandni Chowk All Traders Union, Sanjay Bhargava, said, the government has said that “they have had meetings with market associations, but they haven’t talked to us, let them talk to us first, let us know what the plan is, then we can see.”
He further added, “I have listed 25 things that have to be done for this place before anything happens. Where will they develop the food market in the main market? We will not allow any such developments here. It is a prohibited area for any such developments. Supreme Court directions are that no such hawkers will be allowed on the streets. The food hub has to be in the evening in the late hours, after 7 o clock, if at all it has to be. They can’t park their car and leave, they can come by 7 pm and go back by 11.”
A shopkeeper in main Chandni Chowk said, “There are about 100 general cameras and 34 ANPR cameras which automatically send the details of trespassing vehicle to the control room. But unfortunately, they are all dysfunctional. Due to that, any vehicle can come and go and there is no check.” The chowk still has two-wheelers parked near shops which spoil the aesthetics of the place, a shopkeeper said.
Many other shops in the area claim that there are multiple problems to be addressed in the Chandni Chowk before any food-hub of international level takes place. “The homeless, beggars and the drug addicts are spread in the entire area and they defecate and urinate openly here. The whole place becomes a night shelter in the night,” a shop owner said.
Meanwhile, Chandni Chowk has seen immense increase in its trade after the revamp of its main road, according to traders. The road was limited to walking and non-motorised vehicles only when it subsequently saw a deep decline in the petty crimes of snatching and pick-pocketing.
However, the Traders’ Association claims that there are still a lot of things that are unfinished—about 40 lights have to be installed, on crossings and other places, the flower beds in between the two roads are to be made better, cameras are non-functioning, with the result that motorised vehicles are coming in, and the facade of the buildings has to be developed. “How can there be a pursuit toward an international food hub?” a member of the association wondered.