Monday, November 06, 2006

Traders announce Delhi bandh

Traders announce Delhi bandh on Tuesday - NDTV.com - News on Traders announce Delhi bandh on Tuesday: "A meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) has decided that the Supreme Court's order on sealing would be implemented. Sources have told NDTV that the Law Minister pushed for the court order to be followed.

According to sources, the sealing drive is set to resume and streets that have not been notified as market will be the first to face sealing. Prominent among these is the road that goes from Noida DND to Lajpat Nagar.

Apart from this, 25,000 other shops are on the chopping block, of which there is no chance of relief for about 5,500 shops in elite areas. After this statement, traders announced that there will be a 24-hour bandh in Delhi on Tuesday, and that they will decide on a future plan on Tuesday.

Traders have demanded an immediate ordinance to stop sealing, and said that they will intensify their agitation. Fearing further problems, it has been decided that MCD and Delhi government schools will remain closed for two days starting Tuesday. Moreover, the government has also issued an advisory to private schools in the Capital.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to grant any relief to traders from the sealing drive in the Capital. In all 44,000 traders had filed an affidavit giving undertakings to stop the misuse of premises in residential areas for commercial activities. But in a strongly worded statement, the SC directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to resume sealing of illegal commercial premises.

The sealing crisis is one of the biggest crises faced by the Congress government in the Capital considering the traders bloc is an immense vote bank. Over 40,000 traders face the prospects of sealing by the MCD under the September 29 order of the apex court.

President of Confederation of All India Traders Praveen Khandelwal has urged the government not to drag the case any further and find a solution to the crisis.

Monday's order has also taken political colours. Congress leaders have come out in support of the traders saying their livelihood must not be snatched away.

"For the past 11 months we have been saying there should be no sealing. Traders should not get such a big punishment for a small offence," said Ram Babu Sharma, President, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.

But the opposition BJP has said the decision will lead to unrest in Delhi and has blamed the Congress for the state of affairs. On the other side, Resident Welfare Associations, who have been opposed to commercialisation of residential areas, have welcomed the Supreme Court's decision."

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