High permit costs: Traders keep Manimajra Sunday car bazaar closed

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After appealing to the municipal corporation (MC) authorities to charge only half of the permit cost citing lack of business in the last three months, all traders of the second-hand car market refused to open shop on Sunday and are threatening to continue the same from next week onwards if their demands aren’t met.

Speaking about this, president of the Car Bazaar Dealer Association, Gulshan Kumar, said, “Our business has thinned out due to Covid and due to bad weather. The MC is asking us for 8,260 per ten cars as fees for setting up shop here every Sunday. We are asking that they take only half this fee owing to the hardships that the traders are facing, but they are being apathetic.”

Kumar added that he will discuss this issue with the MC authorities in the coming days. “A large chunk of our customers included people who would come from adjoining states. This travel has stopped now owing to the pandemic and we have not sold any cars. It will not be financially viable for us to stay open from next week onwards if our demands aren’t met,” he said.

Speaking about this, Chandigarh mayor Ravi Kant Sharma said, “Earlier in the MC house meeting, we had given a three-month waiver to the traders that they would have to pay 50% of their fees. From October, they were to pay the original amount. We have heard their issues and this will be a part of the agenda of the next House meeting.”

Sharma added that they will introduce the matter asking for a similar waiver till December. However, it now depends on the House whether it will be approved or not.

Before the pandemic, the Sunday second hand car bazaar had been at loggerheads with the authorities over where they could set up shop. For many years they had been working out of Sector 7, however, they were allocated space in Hallomajra village and after repeated complaints, they were able to open shop at Manimajra.

“We don’t have any cover when it rains and the administration hasn’t given us any facilities here. However, we are thankful that we were shifted here from Hallomajra as it was bad for business,” Kumar said.