That the axe would fall was expected. But shopkeepers on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road got a nasty surprise on Tuesday when sealing squads of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi turned up at their door.
By afternoon, the area surrounding Sultanpur village had been converted into an open-air furniture mart as traders turned desperate. Passersby stopped their cars to purchase lampshades and beanbags that had been lined up on the road by owners of furniture showrooms.
“We were hoping that today too the MCD would continue with the drive in Greater Kailash, but they landed at our doorsteps without a warning. We didn’t even get time to remove all goods from our shop. Since it would be more expensive for us to shift the goods we managed to salvage elsewhere, we are trying to dispose of the goods at cost price,” said Shakeel Ahmed, Manager of Office-in-Style.
The sealing drive carried on in other areas of the city too. Some of the well-known establishments sealed in south zone include Nasha (pub), Red Coral restaurant, a Reebok outlet, Satyapal (designer boutique), CRC Mall, that had 25 shops of designer goods, Avlon Apartments that had a guesthouse on third and fourth floors, DSIDC wine shop and Empire Estate Building, a showroom of stone artifacts.
In Najafgarh zone, some of the hi-profile establishments targeted include showrooms of Lacoste and IFB, Maya Toys, Car Mart (Maruti Showroom), Giovani Restaurant, Eminent Furniture Showroom, Koncept Furniture Showroom and Adidas factory outlet. At the end of the day, the MCD announced that 261 shops had been sealed, which brings the total number of establishments sealed in this round to 738.
At Empire Apartments in Sultanpur village, residents landed in trouble when officials of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) accompanying the sealing squads cut off the water supply to the building. The front portion of the building had been converted into an office.