In rare show of unity, Ajay Maken and Manoj Tiwari get together brainstorm over solution to Delhi sealing drive

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New Delhi | Published: April 11, 2018 12:22:25 PM

The sealing drive in the national capital is being carried out by a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. The drive is being implemented by the three municipal corporations that are ruled by the BJP.

Ajay Maken, Manoj Tiwari, Delhi sealing drive, Supreme CourtIn rare show of unity, Ajay Maken and Manoj Tiwari get together brainstorm over solution to Delhi sealing drive

The hue and cry generated over the sealing drive in Delhi on Tuesday forced two top leaders of the Congress and BJP to come under one umbrella for the ’cause of traders’. The Delhi unit presidents of the opposing parties, Ajay Maken and Manoj Tiwari, were seen sharing stage at Delhi’s Constitutional Club where they exchanged thoughts to address the concerns of the businesses.

A report in The Indian Express said that Tiwari asked Maken to share his past experience and provide guidance on the matter. Maken had served as the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister in the UPA-II government. To this, Maken said that he was ready to help the government as he understands Delhi’s Master Plan. He said that there are provisions to provide relaxations to the traders, but there seems to be a lack of political will.

The sealing drive in the national capital is being carried out by a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. The drive is being implemented by the three municipal corporations that are ruled by the BJP. Thousands of shops have been sealed by the building department of the civic bodies who have not paid the conversion charges as the per the Delhi Plan 2021, leading to people losing their jobs due to abrupt shutting down of businesses. All the three political parties in Delhi are blaming each other for the chaos.

Speaking at the meeting yesterday, which also saw participation of members of the various traders’ associations, Maken cited examples of Singapore and Shanghai, saying ‘they have less resources than Delhi but are better managed’. He said that people migrate to big cities to earn their livelihood, thus density of population will be higher. He said that time has come to promote higher floor area ration (FAR). He said that there are already provisions in the capital’s Master Plan 2012 to address the grievances of businesses and that the Delhi’s future lies in vertical growth, with minimum one-third open area.

Tiwari said that he seconds Maken’s points and insisted that the BJP wants to find a permanent solution. He said that traders are the backbone of economy and their issues should be the top priority for the government. “Commercialisation is always for the betterment of a city since it generates revenue for the government,” the BJP leader said. He noted that the Master Plan has been amended, but the matter is in court now. He said that regular consultations are underway to provide relief to businesses and a solution should be expected in the next two months.

Tuesday’s meeting was not attended by anyone from the Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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