The very old-fashioned and the famous Daryaganj Sunday book market that was closed in July has found a new location which is the Mahila Haat, near Delhi Gate metro station on Asaf Ali Road. The iconic book marketplace was closed after the Delhi High Court’s order, but to a book lover’s amusement, the book bazaar has once again come to life.
The ancient book market, which is more than 50 years old, had never shut down in all these years. However, July 26, 2019 set out to be the last day of operations of the Daryaganj book market as all the 276 vendors running their business in the market were removed from the area on the grounds of traffic regulations.
So on July 3, the Delhi High Court announced the order to shut down the marketplace and also put a prohibition on the weekly book marketplace near Jama Masjid. News has it that Delhi Traffic Police had presented a report and asked for the shutting of the market due to intense and increasing traffic during the day. Soon after, the MCD was requested to shut all markets in the region.
But this Sunday, out of the 276 vendors, 139 in number put up their shops at the Mahila Haat. As per terms and conditions, the MCD-owned Mahila Haat will permit merchants to set up their stalls on lease every Sunday for two years. The suppliers in return will pay a rent of INR 200 per day, and the contract will again be revived after two years.
However, some merchants are not at all happy with the latest arrangement. A group of merchants started a protest after the High Court Orders wherein the protestors formed a human chain at Asaf Ali Road and asked the region on the road between Golcha and Delite cinemas to be allocated for the weekly book bazaar.
As per the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, any merchant can be requested to leave the region only after being examined by the TVC (a town vending committee).