Nehru place shops shut to protest civic apathy

New Delhi: 2,000 shops, retailers and offices at Nehru Place on Wednesday kept their shutters down to protest alleged neglect of the bustling market in south Delhi by the civic authorities.

The area wore a deserted look as after shops and offices located there closed down in reponse to a call from five associations in support of their demands of a safer, cleaner and regulated work environment.

"We shall continue to ask for the pride of place that Nehru Place had come to deserve as a commercial hub adding Rs 1,000 crore annually to the government revenues," said Anil K Sehgal, president of Nehru Place Improvement and Welfare Association (NIWA).

A statement from the association said that the working group of the 'Nehru Place Bachao' would continue to bring up issues with various bodies till they are completely resolved.

"Business and trading community from city's busiest commercial hub will continue its 'Nehru Place Bachao' campaign kicked off as a peaceful protest here today," the statement said.

The core committee of the associations also decided to support move by the government to check unregulated hawking. Nehru Place is dubbed as Asia's biggest computer hardware and peripherals distribution hub but has been suffering from "deteriorating civic amenities."

Designed to be one of the most modern complexes by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the 1970s, Nehru Place has over the years turned into one of the filthiest markets in the national capital, especially during rains.

About 12,500 people engaged in 1,283 businesses and offices in Nehru Place who have signed a plea to Lt Governor of Delhi to save this burgeoning business hub, stayed away from work and participated in the peaceful protest.