"Delhi bandh" today in protest against sealing drive

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INSIDE DELHI: Rapid Action Force men use batons to disperse rag pickers protesting against sealing of shops in the Capital on Tuesday. - PHOTO: AP
INSIDE DELHI: Rapid Action Force men use batons to disperse rag pickers protesting against sealing of shops in the Capital on Tuesday. - PHOTO: AP

Staff Reporter

Major markets likely to remain closed; essential services, public transport exempted

NEW DELHI: All major markets across the Capital are likely to remain closed on Wednesday in view of a ``Delhi bandh'' call issued by the Confederation of All-India Traders in protest against the ongoing sealing drive against commercial establishments functioning from residential areas of the city.

"Around 500 trade organisations have come out in support of the bandh and decided to keep their markets closed for the day on Wednesday. Traders will also hold dharnas at half-a-dozen places in different parts of the Capital to protest against the Government's failure to save their shops from being sealed," said Confederation of All-India Traders general secretary Praveen Khandelwal on Tuesday.

Major markets including Connaught Place, South Extension, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Rohini, Kalkaji, Green Park, Lajpat Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Paharganj, Tilak Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Shahdara, Uttam Nagar, Jagatpuri, Azadpur, Rajouri Garden, Kirti Nagar, Mayur Vihar, Khyala and the Walled City are expected to remain shut for the day.

"The bandh will be peaceful and traders will hold sit-ins and stage demonstrations. We, however, have kept medical stores and neighbourhood shops selling essential items out of the purview of the bandh. Similarly it has also been decided not to disrupt public transport," said Mr. Khandelwal, adding that some political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party had also pledged their support to the bandh call.

Stating that dharnas would be staged in the Walled City (Chawri Bazar), Rohini (Madhuban Chowk), Jail Road, Shahdara, Vikas Marg, Greater Kailash, South Extension and Lajpat Nagar, Mr. Khandelwal said the traders were being forced to come out on the streets and protest as the Government had failed to provide them any relief.

The current sealing drive across the Capital would render lakhs of traders, workers and employees jobless, he added.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi continued with its sealing drive across the city targeting nearly 150 commercial establishments amid protests by traders in different areas, including Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Azadpur, GT Karnal Road and Sadar Bazar.

The civic body's squads sealed 47 properties in Sadar Paharganj Zone, while 32 illegal shops were targeted in Shahdara-South Zone. Similarly the sealing drive was also carried out in Najafgarh Zone (15 properties), West Zone (13), Karol Bagh Zone and City Zone (9 each), Shahdara-North Zone (8), Civil Lines Zone (5), Central Zone and South Zone (4 each) and Rohini Zone (3).

In Najafgarh Zone, 15 properties were sealed on Mehrauli-Pipalpur Road for alleged misuse, while demolition action was carried out inside two farmhouses at Vasant Kunj. Similarly in West Zone, 15 properties were sealed at Punjabi Bagh and Pankha Road, while demolition action was carried out on two properties in Uttam Nagar and Vishnu Garden.

In South Zone, four properties were sealed at Malviya Nagar and two on Palam Marg, while four properties were sealed in Siri Fort and Anand Lok area for alleged misuse.

The MCD teams also demolished ongoing illegal constructions and removed encroachments from public land. In Central Zone, encroachment removal action was carried out at Defence Colony and Okhla Industrial Area Phase-II, while in Shahdara-North Zone encroachments were cleared on Railway Road, Subzi Mandi and outside Shyamlal College.

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