Saturday, July 24, 2010

Customers Stay away from CP: Blame CWG Rubble

As Connaught Place has turned into an inaccessible island, the flourishing business in the market has hit a dry patch. Traders in the Middle Circle complain that customers have deserted them as the area has been completely dug up due to service ducting work.

In other parts of CP, shops are reporting only 30% to 40% sales and traders claim that they have reported huge losses for over a year now.

New Delhi Traders Association president Atul Bharghav said: ‘‘It’s becoming impossible to run a business from CP due to the ongoing restoration work in all blocks. Due to shifting of wires underground, telephones lines have been affected and we face frequent power cuts. Credit card machines too fall into disuse. Customers too have been injured.’’

For traders life does not begin and end with the Games. Paramjeet Singh, owner of Flavours of China in the Outer Circle, said: ‘‘We feel proud that Delhi is hosting the Games but we have to earn a living. For almost one and a half years, my restaurant has seen only 30% business. There was no need for the civic body to take up all the work at one go. It could have been done in a phase-wise manner.’’

‘‘No one wants to enter the Middle Circle due to ducting work. There is no place to walk there, forget parking your car. How am I supposed to earn a living in such a scenario?’’ asked a shopkeeper in the Middle Circle.

Traders claim that it will be a long haul for them even after the Games. Kunwar Raj Singh, owner of SM & Sons, said: ‘‘The work to restore CP will not end with the Games. NDMC has informed us that it will continue with service ducting and subway work even after the Games. The civic body will take up the work from October 24, 2010 and will apparently complete it by March next year.’’

Traders also claim that unofficially they have been told to close their shops for four to five days during Games as CP is part of the cycle race route. So, Games too won’t translate into business for them.