Explained: How Delhi plans to transform Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and three other markets into world-class bazaars


If things go as planned, the famous markets of Delhi — Kamla Nagar, Khari Baoli, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, and Kirti Nagar — will soon undergo a makeover and be redesigned as world-class.

On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a virtual press conference made the announcement that the five markets would be redeveloped in terms of infrastructure and that they would be branded in a phase-wise manner.

“There are many markets in the city that are very famous. Just as we promised in our budget, these markets will be redeveloped and rebranded. In the first phase we are taking on five markets which will be redeveloped and rebranded. We have decided upon these markets after consulting with the people,” said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Let’s take a look at the five markets that will undergo the makeover and what the redevelopment will entail.

Markets in question

Of the five markets that have been chosen in phase I of the redevelopment, Kamla Nagar market is known to be a youth hangout zone.

It is located close to Delhi University North Campus area and just opposite Hans Raj College and near the popular Ghanta Ghar Subzi Mandi.

Historically, Kamla Nagar was primarily developed as an affluent residential area during the 1950s, however, due to its close proximity to the University Campus of Delhi, businessmen and traders developed a huge market place nearby to cater to the daily needs of residents as well as the students.

The Delhi government, run by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has also selected Khari Baoli for redevelopment.

Located at the western end of Chandni Chowk, this area is today world famous and is known to be Asia's largest wholesale spice market.

The air in this area is filled with the perfume of various spices — from red chillies to cumin, to coriander to bay leaf. It is said that the name Khari Baoli comes from the fact that in the 1500s there was a step well, which was salty at the time.

If we go by records, this step well was inaugurated during the reign of Islam Shah, the son of Sher Shah Suri.

Today, there’s no sign of a step well at Khari Baoli, but it’s a hotspot for spice traders and even Instagrammers, as it is a perfect site for photography. The spot is also famous among foreign tourists, who visit India to see the raw beauty of the place.

Lajpat Nagar market, situated in the opulent area of South Delhi near Ashram Chowk, is known as a high-end street fashion hub, and a one-stop destination for wedding planners. Many describe the market as ‘a lonely planet by itself’ or a one-stop shop for shopaholics to fulfil all their shopping desires.

Interestingly, a lot of Bollywood movies such as Vicky Donor, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! have been shot in and around the neighbourhood.

The other two places selected for the makeover are: Sarojini Nagar market, which is famous for its fast fashion collections, while the Kirti Nagar market is a popular destination for furniture and house decor.

Interestingly, Sarojini Nagar market was established during the 1950s as a local market place to cater to the daily requirements of the Sarojini Nagar Government Colony residents. It was after the 1970s, this area was officially renamed as Sarojini Nagar in honour of Sarojini Naidu.

It is said that no home decor venture in the national Capital is complete without a trip to Kirti Nagar. The furniture market has become a must-visit pilgrimage for people wanting to liven up their homes or offices. With the widest range of timber work Kirti Nagar’s furniture market is the largest of its kind in Asia.

 A crowd of shoppers at New Delhi's Sarojini Nagar market. It was after the 1970s, this area was officially renamed as Sarojini Nagar in honour of Sarojini Naidu. ANI

Redevelopment plans

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal explained that the redevelopment process would help the markets of Delhi to move towards progress.

He said that the process began on 22 April when the Delhi government put an advertisement in the newspapers and received applications from 33 markets. Following this, an eight-member committee was formed and nine were shortlisted.

Asked how the five markets were chosen, Kejriwal said that the committee members inspected the markets and then made a final list of five in consultation with market associations, shopkeepers and other stakeholders.

When it comes to redesigning the markets, a competition will be held — details for which will announced in the next six weeks, said Kejriwal, adding that the country’s best designers and architects will participate in this design competition and the redevelopment of the markets will be on the basis of the best designs from the competition.

The redevelopment of these five markets will include the beautification of the areas as well as enhancing the civic amenities. This will help in increasing footfalls, which in turn will help in increasing business.

It has been reported that the five markets is only part one of the Delhi government’s plan and their Rs 100 crore redevelopment plan for 2022-2023 will see all the markets in the city meet the “world standard”.

The government estimates that over 1.5 lakh job opportunities will be created through this.

With inputs from agencies

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Explained: How Delhi plans to transform Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and three other markets into world-class bazaars
Explained: How Delhi plans to transform Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and three other markets into world-class bazaars
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