Normal life was paralysed in the city in the wake of the bandh called by the Patiala Beopar Bachao Sangharsh Committee (PBSC) on Friday to protest a sealing order issued by the Punjab and Haryana high court. Shops, showrooms and commercial complexes remained shut for the entire day to protest the proposed sealing drive by the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) on the orders of the high court.
The court has directed the civic body to seal all commercial establishments in its limits (except old walled areas of the city) if they failed to convert it into a residential facility. Commuters were left stranded for hours as hundreds of shop owners gathered at the Sheranwala gate in the morning and blocked the entrance to the bus stands. PBSC members sat on dharna at Chhoti Baradari.
Senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Gill said the bandh was peaceful and there was no untoward incident. “We have already asked the cops to remain on toes,” he said. Shopkeepers shouted slogans against the state government, the civic body and the district administration.
The protesters termed the sealing order a failure on the part of the MC and the state government as they had “not communicated to the court the root problem”: how the civic body had allowed the commercial establishments to be built in residential areas in the first place.
“All those officers, who allowed the buildings to be constructed should be punished,” said the shopkeepers.
PBSC head Rakesh Gupta said the sealing orders would render 3,500 shopkeepers jobless for no fault of theirs. “It is sad that so far the state government has not bothered to intervene,” he added. “It is yet to offer any legal remedy to end our trauma.”
Taking into account different writ petitions in this regard, the court has directed that all illegal commercial establishments erected under the town planning schemes and schemes developed by the Patiala Improvement Trust and the PDA be sealed. Patiala municipal commissioner Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu said the MC was merely following the directions of the court.
Patiala Beopar Bachao Sangharsh Committee,PBSC,on Friday to protest a sealing order issued by the Punjab and Haryana high court. Shops, showrooms and commercial complexes remained shut for the entire day to protest the proposed sealing drive by the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) on the orders of the high court.