Asia’s biggest wholesale market may also be its most neglected: Traders

Five days after 59-year-old Mukesh Arora died in Sadar Bazar after falling into an open manhole, traders at the wholesale market said the area lacked even basic facilities. Their business was being affected due to this, they added.

Paramjit Singh, president of Sadar Bazar Barri Market Traders Association (SBBMTA), said the market, which receives around 50,000 footfalls per day, is "poorly" maintained. "They say we are Asia's biggest wholesale market and yet, we do not have even basic facilities here. The biggest problem is the lack of proper roads. The roads are broken, poorly laid and extremely congested. Traffic jams occur all the time. Moreover, the bathrooms and urinals here are damaged. Also, there is absolutely no place for women to relieve themselves," Singh said.

Another trader, Mukesh Saxena (35), said the entire Sadar Bazar depends on just four urinals. "There is not enough parking space. Moreover, the market seriously needs more restaurants and eateries. There is hardly any space for traders or buyers to relax or eat something. Considering that so many people come here each day, these factors need to be considered," Saxena said.

He said that lack of transport options and frequent powercuts are other problems faced by businessmen. "Metro stations are located far away from the main market. Not many buses come here, and the road space is taken up by rickshaws, tongas and thelas. Powercuts are a major problem, particularly during the summer. This is a wholesale market. It is congested, and uninterrupted supply of electricity is essential for making sure that people do not feel suffocated," Saxena said.

Traders also slammed the existing drainage system, claiming that during the rainy season, roads get covered by knee-deep water. According to them, the sewers are poorly maintained, and the authorities don't seem to be doing enough about the uncovered manholes dotting the area.

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