Following Friday’s complete bandh, Patiala Beopar Bachao Sangharsh Committee on Saturday carried out a protest for the third consecutive day near Fountain Chowk here, against the sealing order issued by the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Around 500 agitators blocked traffic for an hour, which led to inconvenience to commuters. The protesters blocked roads near Baradari Gardens, the bus stand and Fountain Chowk and raised anti-government slogans, urging the government to intervene.
The court has directed the Patiala Development Authority (PDA) to seal all commercial establishments located in residential areas in its limits except those in the old walled areas of the city. The court has instructed the authority concerned to implement the orders before August 14. The authorities have so far sealed around 100 shops and 12 large showrooms. No sealing was done on Saturday.
It is estimated that the sealing would affect 3,500 shopkeepers in the city.
“What would these shopkeepers do after the sealing process is over? Will the government provide for our families?” committee president Rakesh Gupta asked.
The union threatened to block rail traffic on Sunday morning in case the government failed to consider their demand of halting the sealing process. Parvinder Singh, a shopkeeper, said no political party had come to their help. “We don’t want tall promises but a solution to the problem. We have all papers in place.”
The sealing drive led by Anandita Mitra, additional chief administrator, PDA, has served notices on all shopkeepers to either shut down their shops or convert them into residential facilities.