Delhi Sealing Drive: Over 500 Shops Face Corporations' Ire; Traders Call For Day-Long Strike
It might have looked like the sealing-drive hit traders in Delhi have got some relief after the three municipal corporations in the national capital sought to resolve the issue by seeking a six-month stay on the drive from the Supreme Court (SC) sometime back. The services of the Additional-Solicitor General had been sought to find a way forward. However, on March 8, the three corporations targeted over 500 shops that were illegally running their businesses.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) is said to have sealed 350 shops in areas, including Lajpat Nagar-4 and 106 units in 33 properties in Greater Kailash Enclave 2, Rajouri Garden, Janakpuri, Virender Nagar, Hari Nagar among other areas.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) sealed 40 properties in areas, including Nai Sadak, Sadar Bazar, Rajinder Nagar, Rohini Sector 16, Pitampura, Saraswati Vihar, Outram Lane and Ramgarh GTK road.
The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) sealed 32 properties in Gandhi Nagar, Shakarpur and Pandav Nagar, media reports confirmed. This time, these businessmen said that some shops were sealed even without prior notice. Some even allege they had provided the no-dues slip but in vain.
Just like the last time, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called a day-long protest on March 13.
The case history
Some time back, two resolutions had been passed by the joint House giving temporary relief to traders by giving them a six-month break. The House had also urged the Delhi government to work out the nuances of the Master Plan-2021 in tandem with the Centre. One of the other resolutions also sought to notify 351 roads in various parts of Delhi as either commercial or mixed-land use by the city government.
Last month had been harrowing for traders in Delhi as civic bodies in north, south and central Delhi expedited the sealing drive, shutting operations in over 100 shops. This took place after a monitoring committee appointed by the SC found these commercial centres to have violated clauses related to usage of space and other offences such as non-payment of conversion charges, encroachments, unauthorised constructions.
In the drive, shops across Vasant Kunj, Defence Colony and Meher Chand Market area had been sealed for violating norms.
To mark their protest, the CAIT had announced a 48-hour strike, starting February 2.
"Such an attitude of the committee is not less than a dictator," Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general, CAIT, said. He further added, "This is a very sorry state of affairs, and time has come for the Central government to intervene in such affairs now.”
Interestingly, there are traders who say their shops have been sealed despite them having paid the conversion and parking charges.
With inputs from Housing News