Over 8 lakh shops and 1.5 lakh factories remained shut on Friday, the first day of ‘Delhi Bandh’ called by the city traders against the ongoing sealing drive by the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee and civic bodies.
Despite the proposal by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to bring about uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shops-cum-residential plots and reducing of penalty charges for violation of other conditions, the traders said that the strike will continue on Saturday and Sunday. “This is just a proposal and unless we know the provisions under it, and till the sealing drives are completely halted and our demands are fulfilled, the bandh will continue,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an umbrella body of trade groups.
The markets that were severely hit by the bandh included Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Kashmere Gate, Bhagirath Place, Defence Colony, Green Park, and Sadar Bazar among other areas.
According to the CAIT, all wholesale and commercial markets in Delhi were shut in protest against the sealing drive. Civic bodies in north, south and central Delhi have taken action against more than 50 shops in the Defence Colony market on the directions of the apex court-appointed monitoring committee for failing to deposit conversion charges according to the civic bodies.
“Multiple authorities are working in Delhi without coordination which is hampering the planned development. The Centre should set up a special task force under the Lieutenant Governor to ensure timely and planned development according to the Master Plan,” CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal said.
The CAIT claimed the two-day strike will lead to a loss of crores of rupees.
“There should be no sealing or penal action in a special area until a redevelopment plan is drafted and put into action,” it said.