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Ecstasy and agony

In the last three days MCD has de-sealed 4,105 properties acting on a notification by the Central government.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 03:06 IST

"Please come after some time sir, the restaurant has just been de-sealed," said a visibly happy manager of the popular Rameshwar's eating joint in South Ex-I to its customers on Tuesday. In a corner, an employee was hurriedly scrubbing the floor. They had a reason to be happy: the food joint was de-sealed by MCD on Tuesday as were some other big showrooms.

Other shop owners of the area are happy too. They say while the sealing drive had badly affected business, things are slowly coming back to normal, thanks to the recent notification stopping the drive for a year. And mirroring their emotions are traders from all over the Capital.

"With sealing of big names like Mango, Tommy Hilfiger, Big Jo's, Zohra emporium and Nalli, customers had stopped coming here and business was nil. With the drive now put on hold and all shops de-sealed, the customers are back," said the manager of a well-known showroom that was de-sealed.

In the last three days MCD has de-sealed 4,105 properties acting on a notification by the Central government. Over 4,150 properties still remain to be de-sealed.

"When sealing was at its peak, customers had started avoiding markets like GK-I that were targeted by MCD. This hugely affected our business," said Satinder Wadhwa of GK-I main road traders association. "Though May-June is quite dull business-wise, customers have started coming back now."

"The sealing had halted commerce in the city, retailers like us had stopped buying to reserve money and wholesalers did not want to give goods on credit due to the uncertainty," he said.

"There has been a slight increase of 10-20% increase in the wholesale trade in the last week. Wholesalers had stopped supplying merchandise on credit to shops of those areas that were on MCD's list," said Sanjay Bhargava of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal.

"Though business is somewhat back to normal, wholesalers are still cautious because of the petition filed in the Supreme Court by RWAs against the notification," he said.

Not all businessmen are happy though. Many shops in the Karol Bagh market are yet to be de-sealed. "MCD has not yet de-sealed shops on roads like Arya Samaj Road. Normalcy would only return when all the shops are opened and water and power connection is restored," said Satinder Singh of Karol Bagh Trader's Association.

First Published: May 26, 2006 03:06 IST