Gaffar Market

The NDMC on Saturday issued a notice to the “consumers, occupiers and owners” of Gaffar Market in Delhi’s Karol Bagh to Vacated Within 3 Days over safety concerns. The building is reportedly in a dangerous and dilapidated condition. The market houses a total of 75 shops. Of these, 15 are already empty. Notices have been sent individually to the shopkeepers of the 60 other shops to vacate in time, NDMC deputy commissioner Himanshu Gupta told India Today. The market in Delhi is known for the sale of mobile phones and other electronic goods.

Reason behind the decision to vacate

This decision was made based on a structural audit done by IIT Roorkee. The Department of Earthquake Engineering at IIT Roorkee in its report stated that the building that houses Gaffar Market has many structural deficiencies. As a result, there is a fear of accidents. The report was sent to the Municipal corporation on July 16.

Structure might collapse leading to an untoward incident or accident- IIT Roorkee report

“The reports given by IIT Roorkee give an impression that the structure might collapse leading to an untoward incident or accident,” the NDMC’s order read. As per the order, anyone who does not comply with the rule within the stipulated time is liable for “necessary action” without prior warning. At present, an alternative arrangement for the shopkeepers has not yet been provided by the civic body.

Earlier market remain shut for 2 days for violating Covid-19 norms

Earlier, this market has been ordered to remain shut for 2 days for violating Covid-19 norms. It was decided to keep the market closed due to excessive crowd and violating Covid rules by the public and shopkeepers. The market association was also asked to prepare a detailed plan to ensure compliance of Covid-19 rules. Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and parts of Sadar Bazaar markets were among those shut in recent weeks by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) for violation of Covid-19 norms.

Why Gaffar Market is so famous?

Karol Bagh’s Gaffar Market, which is famous as one of Asia’s biggest electronics markets, is also famous for unlocking cellphones usually bought from abroad. Unlocking, which forms a part of the business of Gaffar and MCD markets, has been booming if we believe what shopkeepers say. A SIM lock, network lock or subsidy lock is a capability built into GSM phones by manufacturers. Network providers use this capability to restrict the use of these phones in specific countries and networks.

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Total business generated from unlocking is around Rs 4-5 crore in a month

“There are more than 30-40 players involved in this business and one player makes around Rs 10-12 lakh from unlocking in a month,” claimed a shopkeeper requesting anonymity. “The total business generated from unlocking is around Rs 4-5 crore in a month,” the source said. On the contrary, according to Harish Chitkara, president of MCD market, the unlocking business generates a low amount.
Moreover, there are several other markets that need to be taken care of.

The buildings and premises of these market too weak to hold on for coming years. Interestingly, people are used to these markets so they do not see the flip side. But the authorities must start a check on these markets and old buildings which have sometimes become a point to sell or purchase.

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