Abrupt Sealing Drive in Delhi
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Abrupt Sealing Drive in Delhi

Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef calender  15 Dec 2019

Abrupt Sealing Drive in Delhi

Traders across the capital observed a daylong bandh against the ongoing sealing drive by putting down the shutters of their shops in the national capital region. This is the third such bandh being organized in the last two months. Traders have now demanded a ‘Moratorium Bill’ by the central government in the current session of Parliament.

What ignited the protest?

On Monday, the three municipal corporations sealed 48 properties in various parts of the city, including Sadar Bazar, Shakurpur, Gandhi Nagar and Mandaoli Road. Shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar agitated in protest against sealing of 400 shops by civic authorities for alleged misuse and encroachment of properties.

The action was taken at the instance of a Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee. The drive had begun in December with sealing of major shops and eateries in the posh Defence Colony. Besides, 33 units were also sealed in the GK Enclave-II and various other colonies.

Where did it happen?

The shops and restaurants in south Delhi’s Defence Colony Market were shut down in December last year because of unauthorized constructions. The shops were sealed as they allegedly have not paid conversion charges, and for encroachment and illegal construction, among other things.

The civic body has since taken action against shops in a number of markets such as Khan Market, Mehar Chand Market, and markets in Sundar Nagar, Hauz Khas, Rajendra Nagar, Chhatarpur and Vasant Kunj.

What did traders say?

The agitating shopkeepers said they had been doing their business in the market for decades. They had given employment to two to three salesmen in each shop. They all have become unemployed now. The suppliers are also the victim of the MCD action.

More than 7 lakh traders from about 2,500 trade associations of Delhi participated in the trade bandh. The bulk of sealing action on Monday was restricted to east Delhi. While only seven units were sealed by the north corporation, the south corporation reported no sealing activity.

What is the way out?

Apparently, the drive has started all of a sudden which not only hits the poor traders but also the lives of the general public as these markets are in the heart of Delhi. The government should have dealt the issue with utmost care and taken steps gradually so that it wouldn't have made a turmoil and angst among the traders. The drive to wipe out the illegal traders from the city is both a difficult and a time-consuming task as most of the illegal vendors belong to the weaker sections of the society who earns money on a daily basis. Instead of sealing all the shops in a go, the government should have notified and given time to set up or to settle up the issues. This would have helped the poor and might not have taken them to the streets as it happened today.

By: Thamanna Abdul Latheef C

thamanna@molitics.in

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