Delhi Bandh: After the lashing by a Supreme Court-monitored committee, the civic officials in Delhi stirred into action to avoid any residential building to be used for commercial purpose. However, the drive has received strong reactions from the Delhi Traders’ Association. In the latest move, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in Delhi has called a two-day ‘Delhi bandh’ on February 2 and 3 in protest against the sealing drive by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
“Delhi bandh for 48 hours started from today. Almost 25,000 markets will be closed, protests march against sealing would be taken out by businessmen in around 500 markets. The ongoing sealing is very harmful for our economy,” said Praveen Khandelwal, Confederation Of All India Traders told ANI.
The bandh call has adversely impacted Delhi shoppers as markets like Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Kashmiri Gate, Kamla Nagar, Chawri Bazar, Khan Market, South Extension, Greater Kailash, Defence Colony, Green Park, and Huaz Khas are participating in the protest. This has brought Delhi to a virtual halt, prompting the leaders of other parties to attack the BJP.
As per media reports, the Chamber of Trade and Industries in Delhi has also planned to hold a protest and ‘katora march’ in front of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) office at Kashmiri Gate. The BJP cites the Supreme Court-monitored body’s order behind the sealing drive, which said that all the commercial establishments flouting provisions of the 2021 Master Plan will be sealed.
DDA member and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti said it was the BJP’s prerogative to fill loopholes in the Master Plan as it controlled the MCDs. “It’s BJP’s duty to fill loopholes in Master Plan as it is in power in Centre and MCD. Sealing could’ve been prevented if BJP did that. All legitimate demands of CM Kejriwal have been approved in the meeting. These demands will be put in public domain,” Bharti said.
Meanwhile, Congress has accused both the BJP and the AAP for the bandh. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken asked the AAP and the BJP to end their “fake fight” over the ongoing sealing drive and suggested that they instead seek relief from the Supreme Court for the traders hit by the move.
Meanwhile, the DDA has made an attempt to pacify the Delhi traders. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) today (February 2) passed three proposals — higher floor area ratios (FAR), reduced conversion charges (from residential to commercial) and regularising agricultural godowns — to amend Master Plan 2021. The move is expected to provide relief to traders from the on-going sealing of commercial establishments.
As of now, there seems to be a deadlock between the MCD and the Delhi traders, which is not just impacting Delhi’s economy but also the daily lives of the people in the city.