City’s pop­u­lar flea mar­ket may get a new ad­dress

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Pankhuri.Ya­dav @times­group.com

New Delhi: One of the cap­i­tal’s most pop­u­lar flea mar­kets, Kabari Bazaar, will soon get a new home. Known more as Chor Bazaar, the weekly mar­ket is cur­rently run­ning from Sub­hash Park near Red Fort. The list of five prob­a­ble places for its re­lo­ca­tion will be de­cided by se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials on Mon­day.

This is, how­ever, not the first time the mar­ket was made to shift base. Orig­i­nally set up in the Mughal pe­riod, the mar­ket was ini­tially a part of Meena Bazaar at Red Fort and later moved to Chawri Bazaar near Jama Masjid. Dur­ing the mid-60s, it had moved to the front of the Red Fort and stayed there till 2000. By then it had be­come a haven for junk and stolen goods avail­able at cheap rates, and started be­ing re­ferred to as Chor Bazaar. More than 1,500 sell­ers gather here ev­ery Sun­day to sell their wares. Peo­ple from the neigh­bour­ing states like Ut­tar Pradesh also come here with their stuff.

The mar­ket was lo­cated right be­hind Red Fort on Bela Road till 2000, when the en­tire area was cor­doned off due to se­cu­rity rea­sons fol­low­ing a mil­i­tant at­tack in the Mughal citadel.

It has rows of shops sell­ing an ar­ray of clothes, shoes, crock­eries and cut­leries, fur­ni­ture, elec­tronic items and spare parts. The items which are sold at other places for Rs 1,000 is eas­ily avail­able here for around Rs 100. Many even have tags of for­eign brands, which catch the fancy of buy­ers who look for fash­ion­able but af­ford­able items. Its location, in front of a beau­ti­ful, green park, also at­tracts many to this mar­ket.

Gar­ment sell­ers buy sec­ond-hand goods in bulk, most of which are orig­i­nally im­ported from places like Ja­pan, Korea and the US. Some­times these sec­ond-hand clothes are mended in such a man­ner that they look ab­so­lutely new.

How­ever, over the years as the crowd kept swelling, the traf­fic in the area and safety be­came a cause of con­cern. An of­fi­cial said the hawk­ers crowded the pave­ments and en­croached upon the road ev­ery Sun­day. Not much was done over the years to con­trol the chaotic sit­u­a­tion un­til now when Public Works Depart­ment (PWD) has taken the onus of clear­ing the mess, he added.

“It’s been a while since I have been to Chor bazaar but I re­mem­ber make de­tours to get to my des­ti­na­tion ev­ery Sun­day. Be­cause of the en­croach­ment, there used to be heavy traf­fic on the way and traf­fic jams would take away at least half an hour,” said Ra­jesh Khu­rana, a trader work­ing in Old Delhi.

Chor Bazaar is cur­rently run­ning from Sub­hash Park near Red Fort

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