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Calls for an empowered panel

The traders demand that there should be an empowered committee to look into the sealing issue, writes Sidhartha Roy.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2006 03:57 IST

The NGO, People's Action, after consultations with different interest groups like RWAs, traders and professionals, has come up with the demand that there should be an empowered committee to look into the sealing issue.

The group of the citizen's collective has signed a representation to the Chief Justice of India YK Sabharwal, requesting him to set up an empowered committee of urban planners that would take into account the ground realities, requirement of planning and come out with a solution that would be acceptable to all the stakeholders.

"We do not have faith in the way the government handled the sealing issue. Ad-hoc solutions do not work," Sanjay Kaul of People's Action said.

"We want the Supreme Court to make an empowered committee that would find solutions that would be acceptable to all," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The collective includes representatives from different RWAs, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), NGOs, professionals, activists and planners.

"Sealing is not the ultimate solution, a comprehensive policy is required," said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT. "The livelihood of so many people should be kept in mind while dealing with the issue," he said.

Activist Alpana Kishore presented a different perspective to the sealing issue.
"The issue is not one of livelihood, it is about sustainability of the city. There should be an expert panel empowered by the court that would formulate a policy and implement it in a time-bound manner," she said.

Representatives from the alumni associations of the IIMs and IITs were also present at the meet to express the views of professionals on the issue. "Only four categories of professionals have been allowed to function from residential areas. There should be more categories like artists, photographers and software developers, who work from home," said Sunil Kala of the IIM Alumni Association.

SC Gupta of the Federation of Ashok Vihar RWAs said the government should not have notified a whole stretch of road as commercial. "This means even the premises that are not commercial would be turned into shops now," he said. "However the sealing should stop and the shops that are already there should be allowed to stay," he said.

sidhartha.roy @hindustantimes.com

First Published: Oct 18, 2006 03:57 IST