New Delhi: The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CTI) said Monday, July 12 that market associations could not be held responsible for maintaining public order when they had no legal authority. It was the responsibility of the police and the district administration. CTI has objected to orders from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) assigning their respective associations responsibility for crowd control in markets, a trade body wrote to Lt. Gov. Anil Baijal.
In recent weeks, several Delhi markets have been closed by the DDMA due to violation of Covid standards like maintaining social distancing. In its orders, the DDMA stated that it was the responsibility of the respective market associations to take all measures to ensure that appropriate behavior is observed at Covid.
In a statement, CTI Chairman Brijesh Goyal said traders could only be held accountable for their stores and sales. He said: “It (the DDMA ordinance) indicates that it is the responsibility of the market welfare association to control the crowd in the markets and (to make sure that people) follow a behavior. suitable for Covid. How can a market association manage crowds and enforce law and order without having any legal authority? “
Goyal said the CTI asked Baijal, who is also the chairman of the DDMA, to remove the line from his orders, putting the responsibility for crowd control in the markets on the market associations. The responsibility for ensuring that Covid guidelines are followed in public places rests with municipal bodies, the police and the district administration, he said. “Markets are becoming easy targets,” he said.
Delhi was under lockdown from April 19 to May 30 during the second wave of the Covid pandemic. The markets were allowed to open from June 7 as part of a plan to gradually reopen the city government. The Delhi government on Monday ordered the closure of the Janpath Market for violating Covid protocols. Previously, the markets of Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and parts of Sadar Bazar and Karol Bagh had been closed by the DDMA.
(With contributions from the agency)