Persisting with their protest against sealing of commercial establishments built against rules, members of the Patiala Beopar Bachao Sangharsh Committee (PBBSC) on Monday blocked the Zirakpur-Patiala road for three hours. As the stir entered its fifth day, around 500 traders raised slogans against the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The traffic blockade put commuters into lot of inconvenience as vehicles queued up in long traffic jams. Some diversions were effected to ease the situation, the police said. The court has directed Patiala municipal corporation to seal all commercial establishments located in residential area within its limits, except in the old walled areas of the city.
The traders threatened to show black flags and to ghereo chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on his visit to attend the state-level function to mark Independence Day on August 15. The CM is scheduled to hoist the national flag at the YPS stadium. "We are giving one-day ultimatum to the state government to find some way out before August 14. If they fail to do that, we will gherao the chief minister without thinking of consequences," said Rakesh Gupta, president of the committee.
Following the warning, the local police beefed up security, particularly at the entry and exit points, railway stations, bus stands and public places. The road leading to main venue has been put under round-the-clock surveillance. Senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Gill said all security arrangements have been made.
The police also released the traffic plan for August 15, as per which the visitors will park their cars at Polo Grounds.
The Patiala Beopar Bachao Sangharsh Committee (PBBSC) has urged all shopkeepers to down shutters on August 14 in a protest against the sealing drive. This is second shutdown call in the past five days, and as many as 3,500 shopkeepers are expected to heed to the call. A completed bandh was observed on August 7.
What's the matter
The Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered the municipal corporation authorities to identify all properties with unsanctioned building plans by August 14 and to serve a three-day notice to the owners.
The court has asked the civic body to submit the compliance report on August 22 after sealing all such buildings. These orders were issued in a different case (apart from the sealing of more than 3,200 commercial establishments falling under the Patiala municipal corporation limits) by the court on a petition filed by the Residential Welfare Association, Urban Estate Phase -1.
Also, the court has said that all illegal commercial establishments, including those based in the areas approved by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), the Improvement Trust, and 36 schemes of the town and country planning department, be covered under its orders till August 24.