Lakhs of shops in Delhi stayed today shut today in protest against the ongoing sealing drive as traders gathered at the iconic Ramlila Maidan to hold a mega rally, asking the government to save their businesses. Today’s rally is the third in as many months against the sealing drive. According to reports, more than 7 lakh shops in over 3,000 markets are closed today. Sadar Bazar, Lajpat Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh and Chawri Bazar were amongst the prominent markets that wore a deserted look.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the All Delhi Traders and Workers Association are organising today’s rally. A large number traders along with their family members participated in the rally, alleging that their livelihoods are badly hit by the sealing drive.
Praveen Khandelwal, the general secretary of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said that to exert pressure on the government, traders across the city also made their kids skip schools today. He said that the sealing drive has affected the lives of 40 lakh people.
Also, people taking roads surrounding the Ramlila Maidan to reach their destination faced a tough time because of massive cognition due to the rally. Massive traffic chaos was also reported from other parts of the city.
The sealing drive in Delhi is being carried out by the three BJP-led municipal corporations at the behest of SC-appointed Monitoring Committee. Officials are cracking down against businesses using residential areas for commercial purposes without paying charges.
Earlier this week, in a bid to provide some relief to traders, the Delhi government had submitted to the top court that 351 city roads have bee put under the commercial and mixed-use categories. The AAP government had also submitted a notification in this regard. The decision will come into force only after the court’s approval.