Post MLA disqualification, AAP ups the ante on sealing drive

Traders hold protest near Town Hall Chandni Chowk on Friday

The Confederation of All India Traders, which claims the support of 2,000 traders' associations, said the traders were shutting shop to "lodge a strong protest against arbitrary sealing of commercial establishments in Delhi", the Hindustan Times reported.

The industry body also said that traders will "gherao" MPs and MLAs of Delhi and will submit their memorandum.

Despite the government's decision to amend the Delhi Master Plan (DMP) 2021, the Confederation of All India Traders that boasts the support of almost 2,000 traders decided for a bandh in the national capital. Reports further said that about 100 traders from all across India will march from Red Fort to Town Hall in Chandni Chowk on Saturday.

The Delhi Development Authority proposed bringing uniform floor area ratio for shop-cum-residence plots and complexes at par with residential plots on Friday, a move that could provide relief to traders facing the threat of sealing. "Aam Aadmi Party again demands immediate de-sealing of shops in the capital".

He said the ministry has proposed certain amendments to the master plan which would be taken up by the DDA in its meeting on Friday.

The changes are expected to be notified as amendments to the master plan after the next meeting.

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In March 2006, the Supreme Court had ordered the sealing of all unauthorised construction and also appointed a Monitoring Committee to conduct the sealing drive under its supervision.

Municipal corporations in Delhi have undertaken the sealing drive initiated by a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee (set up in 2006). It was further revised on December 15, 2017 with three members - comprising former adviser to the Election Commission KJ Rao, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) Bhure Lal and Major General (retd) Som Jhingan of the team.

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken took to social media to term the relief by the DDA "extortion".

"There should be no sealing or penal action in a special area until a redevelopment plan is drafted and put into action", it said.

The sealing drive due to which the traders were on strike was being carried against business establishments using residential premises for commercial reasons without paying due commercial charges.

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