The court also asked Delhi government to consider in a right perspective the issue of allowing more weekly markets to operate, pointing out that there is a strata of society that only purchases things from these markets since they cannot afford other shops.
Delhi high court is right in its observation. Street vendors must be vaccinated proactively. They interact with many people every day. Vaccination is imperative for their own safety and that of their customers.
At present due to Covid-19 restrictions, Delhi government has allowed weekly markets to open but only with 50% of vendors and one market in each municipal zone.
“It is expected that Delhi Disaster Management Authority will consider this aspect in its right perspective. It is also expected that street vendors will also take pro-active steps to get vaccinated so that we can avoid the third wave and the NCT of Delhi is not faced with a surge as faced recently,” Justice Rekha Palli said. The court, however, made it clear it is not asking Delhi government to allow all weekly markets to operate and said the authorities shall consider the issue and then take a decision.
It also suggested the government can put conditions so that there is no crowding at these markets, while issuing notice to Delhi government on a petition by Saptahik Patri Bazar Association, which has challenged the authorities’ decision to open malls and markets, but not weekly markets. The plea said restrictions on other activities were relaxed on June 13, while “these vendors — who belong to the poorest of poor class — are suffering”.
When the court said opening of these markets will lead to an increase in crowd, the petitioner’s counsel said if only one weekly market is allowed to be open in a municipal zone, there will be more crowd because there are people who buy goods only from these markets.
On its part, Delhi government submitted that suddenly a spike has been seen in Covid-19 cases recently and while the daily average was 45-49 cases, 85 cases were recorded on Sunday. It said the authorities will consider the issue and inform the court.