Stop closure of Delhi's Dariyaganj Sunday Book Market & Protect our heritage/booksellers .

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Hanging in the balance is the future one of the oldest remaining used book markets in Delhi. The Daryaganj Sunday Book Market is one of the last remaining haunts of a book lover in the city as well as an important part of our culture and heritage and a magnet for tourists .

Recently the Delhi High Court directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to shut down the Sunday bazaar from Netaji Subhash Marg while allowing it on Asaf ali road effectively 50%of the market  — declaring it a no-hawking zone. The court order cited impediments to vehicular and pedestrian movement. The order — Issued in July — was based on an account submitted by the Delhi Traffic Police to the high court. The traffic authorities had argued that the book market was adding to congestion in a high-volume traffic zone and forcing pedestrians off the sidewalk into a bedlam of cars and rickshaws. The NDMC acted fast, notifying vendors and shutting down the market — an action that vendors say directly violates the central government’s Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014

If the traffic police/Govt/ Courts issued a similar order on the hundreds of markets that dot the major roads in delhi on all the working days of the week leading to massive jams on all arterial roads rather than in shutting down a book market ,the general public may actually benefit

Directly under threat are almost 300 book vendors with destroyed  small businesses and livelihoods as well as the  ancillary labour that facilitates the logistics in any market  — in the form of transportation ( rickshaw pullers ,loaders ,helpers), tea /snack sellers , bulk sellers and others —  more than 2,200 people who were left in the lurch.

The Sunday book market ,runs on a holiday from 6 am in the morning ,till mid afternoon on a day where there is no office or school going traffic on the roads  and the pedestrian movement on that stretch is mainly due to the hundreds of book lovers who have frequented the market ,sometimes for decades at a stretch.

 The question of Daryaganj Book Markets importance as a vital part of Delhi's socio - cultural and urban fabric , a public place for books and book lovers  - retaining a powerful historic and architectural sense of place has never been more important  and its protection more vital as visitors both local and tourists continue to increase . The character of the book market is also built along its entire stretch and expanse  and should be conserved in its present form with better facilities

What we and our city /country choose to do with the Daryaganj Book Market will set a precedent for the future and our shared heritage must be at the center of any new development if it is to serve Delhi and thrive in the long term. 

Wake up MCD and Delhi Government! Shutting down the Daryaganj Market will leave Delhi and all of us culturally poorer and we would be leaving our future generations without that most wonderful of public spaces –a Book Market. 

Do not allow the closure of the Daryaganj Book Market!