Opposing the sealing drive from November 1, the Delhi government on Friday told the court appointed Monitoring Committee that it apprehended a breakdown of public order and not merely law and order problem in the city.
In a letter on behalf of the state government, Principal Secretary (Urban Development), Vivek Rae said that those who indulged in the Seelampur violence were rendered unemployed due to the sealing drive.
“The lumpen elements are likely to exploit the feeling of fear and uncertainty amongst the employees of commercial establishments likely to be sealed.
This might result in large scale violence in several parts of the city,” the letter of UD Department told the committee.
The Delhi government claimed that it reached the conclusion of a breakdown in public order during the three-day trade bandh in the city after consultation with the Delhi Police.
“People would converge in trouble spots of the city in no time due to excellent connectivity in the city,” the letter said, adding, "maintenance of law and order on the ground is likely to be fraught with serious problems."
Asked about the stand of the Delhi government on the renewed sealing drive, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, "We want justice with compassion. The traders who have filed affidavits should be given time upto January 31, 2007."
Can the traders get relief even now as there are only two working days before the renewed sealing drive? "We are hopeful of some solution at the last minute," Dikshit said.
The CM said that the Delhi government does not have a locus standi on the issue. “We are the representatives of the people and duty bound to raise the apprehensions and grievance of the people at all levels,” she told HT.
The CM wanted the Union Urban Development Ministry to approach the court at the earliest for a last minute relief. Asked if the Delhi government would approach the court, she replied in the negative.
The state government has also raised the issue of unemployment of those affected by sealing and "serious disruption" of city life.
"For many of those whose shops are to be sealed and those who work there, there is no other means of sustenance. All these factors should be looked into before the sealing drive begins afresh," the Delhi government appealed to the Monitoring Committee.
Email Amitabh Shukla: firstname.lastname@example.org