Head elsewhere for weekend shopping as top Delhi markets shut

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Delhi bandh against sealing drive today; traders to go for ‘chakka jam’, protest march

Traders in the Capital have called a three-day ‘Delhi Bandh’ from Friday in protest against the ongoing sealing drives initiated by the Supreme Court appointed monitoring committee and the BJP-led civic bodies.

The Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI) on Wednesday announced that the sealing is causing an atmosphere of fear and panic among the traders and market associations.

During the 72-hour bandh, markets across the city will remain shut as a mark of protest against the municipalities. CTI conveners Brijesh Goel and Hemant Gupta said a ‘mahapanchayat’ of traders was organised at the Constitution Club on Wednesday where the problem of sealing was discussed.

“There is a lot of anger among the traders against the attitude of the municipal officials on sealing. Traders have decided that the authorities will not be affected by a day or two of closure, and it has to be long enough for some action to be initiated in our favour,” Mr. Goel said.

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The CAIT, on the other hand, has decided to hold protest march in all markets in the national capital. They are slated to stage a protest at Bikanerwala crossing in Karol Bagh area at around noon.

At around the same time, a ‘chakka jam’ is also expected to be staged at Paharganj near New Delhi Railway Station. This might lead to trouble for those going to the railway station.

One of the proposals expected to be tabled in the meeting is increasing the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) from 180 to 300-350. There might also be a proposal on unifying the FAR. There might also be a proposal for relief in the conversion charge and penalty.

This comes a day after Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Thursday made a presentation before the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, raising demand for halting the ongoing sealing of illegal commercial establishments in the city.

Several commercial establishments in Delhi have been sealed by BJP-ruled civic bodies for failing to deposit conversion charges according to provisions in the master plan.

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