Commercial activities come to halt in protest against sealing

| | New Delhi

Commercial activities in Delhi markets came to a standstill on Tuesday as thousands of traders under the aegis of 2,000 trade associations kept their shutters down to protest against unprecedented sealing drive carried out by the municipal corporations on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee.

A protest march was also witnessed in major markets including Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Chawri Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Karol Bagh and Kashmere Gate.

The demonstrations were held at around 100 places across Delhi, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement.

On March 28, a traders’ rally will be held at Ramlila Maidan here against the sealing drive, which, the CAIT said, is in “utter violation” of The Municipal Corporation of Delhi Act, 1957.

The business losses due to Tuesday’s bandh were estimated at Rs 1,800 crore, with the revenue loss to Government pegged at about Rs 150 crore, CAIT said.

Calling an all-party meeting convened by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a “political stunt”, the protesting traders adopted a resolution on Tuesday to demand that his Government get passed a Bill in the Assembly to stop the sealing drive.

They also appealed to the Central Government to bring a law for a moratorium on the ceiling.

The sealing drive is being carried out by a Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee against business establishments using residential properties for commercial purposes. The drive is being implemented by the three BJP-led municipal corporations in Delhi.

The committee was set up by the Supreme Court in 2006. In 2012, the apex court asked the committee to halt the drive. But in December 2017 it ordered resumption of the drive.



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