Smoke it up in the AIR..

5th Mar. 09

Dilli Haat, INA

Evening around 6pm.

I was one of the regular visitor of this place since more than last 10 years. Infact few of the stall- owners recognize me like the neighborhood shop owners would. That day, while I was at a stall of shells & conches, I nearly passed out with the stink of smoke. Upon inspection, I observed the stall-man next to that of where I stood was smoking. I pointed out to him saying that if he was aware of the fact that Public Smoking was an Offence, to which he smirked at me & continued with his smoke. He was a healthy Gentleman smartly dressed in Trousers & a Short- shirt.

At his response, I went to the Dilli Haat office & reported the incident. One Mr. P. Tiwari, Deputy Manager who not only gave me a patient hearing but also assured me of looking into the matter personally. He ordered one of the guards- Mr. Avaneesh to go along with me & identify the stall- man.

Upon reaching there at his stall, even before the Security Man, Mr. Avaneesh could say that Mr. Tiwari had desired to see him in the office, he asked me “what- smoking?” I pointed out to the Security Man to take note of it that he himself is stating & hence accepting his fault. The stall- man then very rudely shouted on me saying that there may be 200 people smoking here, 1st I should go & stop them & then comeback to him. Definitely, he had no business to be talking to me, much less in the manner he had adopted. He had the audacity to ask me to go off from there & kept waving his hand as one would to shoo away.

The same time the Chief Manager, Mr. Shridhar also happen to pass with his Team as they were conducting some inspection, I stopped him on his way & brought the matter to his notice as well. To my utter surprise, the stall- man was hardly affected to what was being complained against him & displayed a highly casual approach. The team on inspection heard what I had to say, however, I am sorry to say- failed to take note & initiate any steps as was required. A crowd had gathered by now just to be a silent audience. I had no choice but to dismiss myself as I had made a spectacle of myself by then. I retorted in the highest possible pitch & tenor which scared him to speak anything against me. It mannerisms the gentleman displayed, were highly arrogant to say the least. I felt they all may be Hand & Glove.

I went back to Mr. Tiwari’s office once again. He seemed to be already aware of what had happened. He pushed a paper towards me so if I wished to write a Complaint. I did.

The stall- man was once again called to the Office, & this time around he did come. Mr. Tiwari verified the details of the incident as I had narrated to him, to which he accepted all.

By now, he was identified as some Mr. Sharma, Stall no- 35, Food Plaza of Rajsthani Paintings & not being the actual allotte of the stall by Dilli Haat. Please note that he was neither the allotte, nor the helper, as he did not carry any pass as issued by the department. He also did not carry any letter of authorization with him as well which is required as informed to me by Mr. Tiwari, incase of if the actual allottee passes his stall to a fellowman in his absence. This man did not even qualify to be a visitor since he failed to produce any entry ticket as well. After the same was verified with Mr. Sharma, he had mellowed down & looked at me with great hatred.

Mr. Sharma held a questionable character & may have nurtured any ideas & proven to be a terror & threat to the Public. Please do not ignore the number of instances that have happened in recent past in Delhi markets around Festivals. I wonder, how someone could have walked in without absolutely no Pass/Ticket or Authorisation inside the Property.

Mr. Tiwari assured & communicated to me then at 7pm, & later as well on my cellphone at night the same day, which the stall was immediately closed in the absence of any Authorization Papers from the original Allottee. No action was still initiated for his Offence of Smoking in Public or mis- behaviour with a visitor.

I now feel too skeptical to visit Dilli Haat for the fear of my Life & Social Embarrassment.

  • Smoking should be completely banned as it has been otherwise as well, & a necessary fine should be imposed on the Offender. There should be surprise checks to affect the same.
  • Stall- man mis- behaviour needs to be declared as Offence.
  • &, In this particular instance, this Mr. Sharma is both Offender (smoking) & a Miscreant (carrying no papers to be moving inside a Government Property which is otherwise required)

The same evening, after the entire episode had happened, I noticed a lot of other stall- men at the Wooden Articles stalls (at the immediate right of the entry gate) as well engaged in the Offence of smoking, but were civil enough to put out when pointed out to them.

It is a matter of shame to have learnt that is an obsolete one. This simply reflects on the Attitude of the Institution, our Delhi Government, & Minitry of Tourism.

Since then, I visited Dilli Haat a few times over, & spotted the same Mr. Sharma in the premises. I when approached Mr. Tiwari, he made me talk to some Mr. Zakir Ali who gave me a run around asking me to approach the RK Puram Office about it since they are the one who take care of the allotment procedure.. This simply reflects the PASS-THE-BUCK attitude as well as the Probable Nexus between the Dilli Haat Authority & the Mr. Sharma, who had as per the Authorities being banned from entering into Dilli Haat besides having his stall sealed. Mr. Zakir Ali wanted me to sympathize with him for his stall been closed for 3 days; I being the cause & the loss of business he may have suffered!!!!!



Escalation & Failure

I tried escalating the matter to the following Channels, along with the response:

  1. The emails IDs (& the Delivery Notification) as listed in the attachment, only to find them all to be Obsolete. These IDs are listed on the Official Website of the Ministry of Tourism.
    •– This one is also displayed on a board at Moolchand Flyover apart from being listed on the Website. The email address so listed on the Delhi Tourism website & printed on the Deputy Manager’s Card.
  2. I escalated it to Mr. Sanjeev Ahuja of HT. He not only kept denying the Official Email of HT but also kept passing the buck only to one day rudely hang- up on me.
  3. The matter was also escalated to Ms. Shivani Singh of HT, who never responded. She was never to be found on calling the HT Office. She was supposedly his boss.
  4. At the same time, a “Grievance” was also lodged at the NCT of Delhi Website at Ms. Sheila Dixit’s Portal. The “Check Status” Page is either “not Found” or shows “Pending Status” since then.
  5. The whole matter till now was then forwarded to NDTV on their Email, once again, needless to mention returning dumb response. Either there was an emergency in their Office or some Fire Fighting going on!! How Patented..


After Note: The situation has not changed even a bit. Infact, I have stopped visiting Dilli Haat now. The last month that I did after a gap of 6 months, the same stall- man was moving around with an air of Arrogance around him..

Why not? He had earned it..!!

About Olivia

Corporate worker, textile designer, writer.
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2 Responses to Smoke it up in the AIR..

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