The export market in Delhi's Sarojini Nagar has been shut until further orders for "grossly" violating COVID-19 norms, a state government order said on Saturday.
The order stated that even though daily coronavirus cases in the capital have gone down significantly, due caution needs to be maintained.
"... An inspection was done in Sarojini Nagar Market on July 17, at 5:30 pm and it was found that the Export Market SN was extremely crowded with Covid-19 norms being grossly violated and no social distancing being followed at all," read the order issued by sub-divisional magistrate (Vasant Vihar) Ankur Prakash Meshram.
The authorities further expressed dissatisfaction over Market Associations' inability to enforce Covid protocol despite the state government issuing various directives.
"Various directions have been issued from time to time with regards for ensuring CAB (covid appropriate behaviour) in Sarojini Nagar Market, latest being CEO New Delhi DDMA minutes of meeting No. SDM/VV/2021/1935 dated 9th July 2021; and it has been found that Market Associations have not complied with these directions," order read.
The export market comprises of nearly 200 shops and is located at the heart of Sarojini Nagar market.
Calling the decision unfair, the market associations of Sarojini Nagar will meet today over the issue, news agency ANI reported.
Threatening to shut the entire market, Nitin Bhatia, Secretary, Sarojini Nagar Market said: "We don't understand on what basis did sub-divisional magistrate issued this order against us?... We will protest against it".
"We strictly follow social distancing... Why should only shopkeepers suffer? Don't we have kids? We have electricity bills to pay. Why is the order only for the export market? How will we pay our workers," said Vikas Kashyap, an export trader in the market.
Govind Yadav, an employee in a shop said, "Since there's no money we will go back to our villages. if we sit in our homes with no work, how will we pull off rent?"
Earlier this month, authorities had ordered the closure of Delhi's Gaffar market, DDA market and Naiwala for 48 hours for violating COVID-19 norms.
The capital recorded 59 COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Saturday while the positivity rate dropped to 0.08 per cent, according to data shared by the health department.
The four new fatalities have pushed the death count in the city to 25,027.