Traders plan mega rally to­day against seal­ing drive in city

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - METRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­porters@hin­dus­tan­

We are not even given the op­por­tu­nity to present our cases. This has forced the traders to in­ten­sify their ag­i­ta­tion. PRAVEEN KHANDELWAL,

CAIT sec­re­tary gen­eral

NEW DELHI: Traders as­so­ci­a­tions have an­nounced a mega rally from Red Fort to Ghanta Ghar on Thurs­day to protest the on­go­ing seal­ing drive in the city.

Mar­ket as­so­ci­a­tions of Greater Kailash, South Ex­ten­sion, De­fence Colony, Green Park, Green Park Ex­ten­sion and Chandni Chowk will take part in the rally with a de­mand that the gov­ern­ment must im­me­di­ately bring a bill in Par­lia­ment to stop seal­ing.

The rally has been or­gan­ised by the Con­fed­er­a­tion of All In­dia Traders that claims to have 2,200 mar­ket as­so­ci­a­tions as its mem­bers. “It will wit­ness par­tic­i­pa­tion by thou­sands of traders and work­ers, who have be­come job­less af­ter the seal­ing of shops,” said CAIT sec­re­tary gen­eral Praveen Khandelwal.

“Un­for­tu­nately, with­out re­al­is­ing the ground re­al­ties seal­ing op­er­a­tions are be­ing in­ten­si­fied in the city. We are not even given the op­por­tu­nity to present our cases. This has forced the traders to in­ten­sify their ag­i­ta­tion,” said Khandelwal.

On Wed­nes­day, hun­dreds of traders staged a demon­stra­tion out­side the Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion’s head­quar­ters at Civic Cen­tre while ob­serv­ing the day as “My Valen­tine-my Shop”. The protesting traders were cov­er­ing their mouth with black strips and hold­ing plac­ards.

The Cham­ber of Trade and In­dus­tries, an­other traders’ orga- ni­sa­tion with 400 traders as­so­ci­a­tions as its mem­bers, has also an­nounced to protest with beg­ging bowls from Fe­bru­ary 16-25, on Wed­nes­day. “The traders will gather out­side the res­i­dence of seven Delhi MPS ev­ery­day. And on Fe­bru­ary 25, we will gather out­side Prime Min­is­ter’s res­i­dence, beg­ging him to save our shops and trades,” said Bri­jesh Goel, con­vener of CAIT.

Traders are at log­ger­heads with RWAS over seal­ing. While the res­i­dent as­so­ci­a­tions have op­posed the pro­posed amend­ments in Delhi Mas­ter Plan 2021, traders al­leged that the seal­ing has af­fected their bread and but­ter. “I have been run­ning the shop in base­ment for decades and all of sud­den it was sealed with an ex­pla­na­tion that no com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity is al­lowed in the base­ment. It’s been more than one month since my shop is sealed and I don’t know how to run my house ex­penses now. There are peo­ple who were run­ning the shops on rent of ₹1 lakh (per month) and they are plan­ning to shift now,” said Jagdish Gupta, sec­re­tary of De­fence Colony Mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion.

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