‘Tis the season to be safe and secure

‘Tis the season to be safe and secure

New Delhi: With cars queuing up for parking space and youngsters flocking to their favorite shopping corners at the GK M Block market, life after the blasts that hit five of Delhi’s popular shopping destinations last month, seems to be coming back to normal for the shoppers.

(Click here to watch video story)

d1447024-93bf-11dd-bc2e-000b5dabf613.flvBut the ongoing festive season has added to the responsibility of the security forces. In the past, festive seasons have served as the background for terrorist outfits to carry out serial blasts. For example, the serial blasts in Sarojini nagar market in October 2005 were carried out on Diwali evening – an evening that allowed for maximum casualties.

To prevent history from repeating itself, Delhi Police is taking all possible preventive measures to ensure that the ghosts of the past do not re-appear. "We are trying to motivate the shopkeepers to install CCTV cameras, Ghaffar Market, people have already agreed to our proposal, they are installing 16 additional CCTV cameras and these CCTVs would be connected to the control set up that we have in Karol Bagh." Says Jaspal Singh, DCP, Central District

The market associations have also geared up to ensure the safety of the shops and the shoppers. "For this festive season, you can see that we have installed 6 CCTV cameras… These loud speakers, we have increased them to 12 so we know that in case of any emergency, we can announce and tell people what to do and what not to do." Says Rajender Sharda, president of the GK M Block market association.

But despite the assurances given by the Delhi Police, many youngsters find it difficult to convince their parents to go shopping to these markets. Sixteen-year-old Divyanshi told us, "my exams just got over today but it was actually very difficult convincing my mom to let me come here for fun and all. And there are so many friends of mine who said that their parents weren’t allowing them to come to the markets."

Many others also feel that these security systems are not really of any help. And those who venture out to shop do so at their own risk.

Those who stay within the neighborhood seem to be making sure that they limit the number of visits they make to these markets. Agosh Malik, from Home Stores, a shop in the M block market in GK revealed to us that his customers, “nowadays… want everything delivered at their homes."

Market associations have come out with advertisements assuring shoppers that they would be safe and secure in the markets, and encouraging them to shop.

And, watching the crowds fill the stores in GK M Block, it seems that these assurances have worked.