Delhi’s favourite hangouts and watering holes may be out of reach of visiting foreign delegates. The iconic eateries and stores in buzzing hubs like Khan market, Connaught Place, Janpath, Malcha Marg and Chanakyapuri, will wear shutters over the weekend with the New Delhi district declared a “controlled zone” during the G20 summit.
The city’s residents are preparing to be cooped indoors given the traffic restrictions that have been announced, especially in the regulated and controlled zones including Central Delhi and on Delhi-Gurugram Highway of NH48. Operations of cloud kitchen, food deliveries and e-commerce deliveries will be impacted given the halt on commercial activities during those days in the New Delhi district.
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Retailers and restaurant owners in the upscale markets of Delhi were hoping to do brisk business during the G20 weekend. But instead, they will face a loss of business. A senior executive with a retail chain said that nearly 60 per cent of the weekly business gets generated during the weekend and restrictions even for one weekend can impact monthly profits. “We are still hoping that we are allowed to open shops at least for 3-4 hours during this period,” he added.
Sanjeev Mehra, President of Khan Market Traders Association echoed, “ There will be a monetary loss for retailers of Khan market and we are also missing out on the opportunity to showcase ‘Made-in-India’ products. But as an association we fully understand the security considerations due to which such a decision is being taken, and will adhere with the directions.”
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The Delhi Police on Tuesday clarified that “just a small part of New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)” will face restrictions. However, it added that all essential services such as milk booths, grocery, fruits and vegetable shops, medical shops and hospitals etc. will remain fully functional in the region.” It further added that all essential medical services will also continue to be operational as usual. “There will be no lockdown-like situation during G20 in Delhi, “ it added.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, Confederation of All India Traders said, “While retail markets in the New Delhi police district will remain shut, all other retail and wholesale markets will be operational. Markets like Chandni Chowk, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar will not be impacted. To provide clarity, we are soon issuing an advisory to our members. We are also encouraging them to take steps to promote Indian culture, focus on cleanliness and remain vigilant during the G20 weekend.”
Meanwhile, rather than be locked up at home, some Delhiites are heading for a holiday. According to data from Cleartrip, during the week of August 28 to September 03, there has been a week-on-week increase in bookings of 38 per cent for travel between September 07 to 10.
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“The government’s official holiday announcement over the G20 meet days have triggered an increase in searches for cities within drivable distance from the city of Delhi. We have observed an increase in searches for accommodation bookings in destinations such as Sawai Madhopur, Manesar, Amritsar, Vrindavan, Agra, Udaipur, and Jaipur etc,” said Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip.
International destinations such as Dubai, Heathrow (England), Doha (Qatar), Kuwait, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) are also on the radar for vacations.
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