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Many misconceptions about sealing drive in Delhi

Reprieve has already been granted to thousands of traders operating in residential areas across the national capital.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2006 16:34 IST

Contrary to popular notion that the Supreme Court directive will put a seal on all commercial activities in residential areas, reprieve has already been granted to thousands of traders operating in such colonies across the national capital.

As per a September 15 notification by the central government, commercial activities will be allowed in nearly 2,200 roads in not so rich colonies categorised as C, D, E, F and G.

According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), benefits have also been extended to small shops (established on up to 20 square metres space).

These small shops falling into 22 categories like salons, grocery shops, medicine stores, tailors, general stores, small mobile shops, dry cleaners, vegetable shops and other such catering establishments cater to the daily needs of the people in residential colonies.

"There is certainly a lot of misconception among traders and the public about the nature of sealing. The notification has certainly given reprieve to a lot of traders," said SK Mann, a spokesman of the civic body.

After proper survey, the MCD identified and notified 2,183 stretches of roads under the commercial, mixed land use and pedestrian shopping streets category on Sep 15.

"By this notification, benefits have been allowed to those establishments which fall on the 2,183 roads except those who had filed affidavits before the honourable Supreme Court in February and March this year," Mann added.

While 734 roads have been declared as fully commercial, 685 are under the mixed land use category and the rest under pedestrian shopping streets category.

So who will suffer because of the court directive?

It's the 44,000 traders who had filed affidavit in the court assuring that they will move out of the residential areas by Oct 31. Besides, big commercial establishments in upscale residential neighbourhoods categorised as A and B colonies will also face the axe.

People's support for the traders is certainly falling after Wednesday's unrestrained violence and hooliganism and even those who used to sympathise with traders are now turning against them.

"In the last three days, the city was completely thrown out of gear. Destroying public properties to blocking traffic for hours can not serve any good at all," said Sudha Ravi, vice principal of Apeejay School, Pitampura.

Elizabeth Matthew, who got stuck in the traffic jam on her way to work Wednesday, said: "The mob's behaviour in east Delhi was shocking. Not only did they shatter glasses of two buses, punctured tyres of at least four RTVs, they also hurled bricks."

"Drastic steps such as sealing of illegal shops do cause inconvenience. But is violence the answer?" Matthew asked.