Delhi traders observe bandh, major markets remain closed to protest against sealing
Markets like Greater Kailash, South Extension, Defence Colony, Connaught Place, Chawri Bazaar, Chhatarpur, Lajpat Nagar, Hauz Khas, among others remained shut on Wednesday and no commercial activity took place as traders observed a bandh in response to the continuous sealing of shops in various parts of Delhidelhi Updated: Mar 28, 2018 23:51 IST
New Delhi: Shutters of shops in prominent markets like Greater Kailash, South Extension, Defence Colony, Connaught Place, Chawri Bazaar, Chhatarpur, Lajpat Nagar, Hauz Khas, among others remained shut on Wednesday and no commercial activity took place as traders observed a bandh in response to the continuous sealing of shops in various parts of Delhi.
“Ours is the first market that was targeted by the monitoring committee. It is located on old Delhi-Faridabad state highway and mentioned as ‘facility corridor’ in the zonal plan. While commercial activity is allowed on this stretch, yet our shops were sealed and thousands of people associated with our trade became unemployed,” said Sunil Kumar Jain, trader from Chhatarpur Marble Market.
He said that more than 1,000 people from his market joined the rally at Ramlila Maidan on Wednesday. Though many popular markets remained closed all day, shops in some markets such as Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar, Chandni Chowk and Laxmi Nagar opened for business after 1pm.
“Since I stay in Gurgaon, I had no clue that Delhi markets were shut. We failed to find any showroom where we could shop in South Extension I and II. It was a complete waste of time,” said Ankita Kalra, a resident of South City I.
The sealing drive started in Delhi on the orders of the Supreme Court on December 15, and so far at least 6,000 properties have been sealed over the alleged misuse, encroachment and running establishments on non-notified areas by three civic agencies.
On December 22, the South Corporation had sealed 51 units for misusing the residential complexes for commercial use in upscale Defence Colony market. This was followed by sealing drive in other prominent markets in localities such as Meharchand, Khan Market, Green Park and Hauz Khas.
To give relief to the traders, the Delhi Development Authority had approved amendments in Delhi Master Plan 2021 but these were questioned in Supreme Court on the ground if any environmental impact assessment was being carried before.
“If the ministry of housing and urban affairs has been claiming that implementation of amendments (in the Master Plan) is in their jurisdiction then what are they waiting for? Despite submitting the affidavit in apex court, they are delaying the matter, which will give relief to 70% of traders,” said Vijay Kumar, president of South Extension Market Association.
Meanwhile, the standing committee of the North corporation on Wednesday approved licensing fee rates of the shops at refugee markets and those developed by the Land and development Authority (L&DO) for migrants coming from Pakistan at the time of partition.
The 29 such markets included in the proposal are Model town III market, Old Hindu College (Kashmiri Gate), Lucknow Road (near Raj Niwas), Shastri market, Amrit Kaur Market (Paharganj), Lal Masjid (Lahore Gate) and Sadar Bazar meat market. “The licensing fee of these markets were increased in 2015, but the civic body received complaints from shopkeepers expressing that hike was too steep” an official said.