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Traders to protest Delhi sealing drive
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 19, 2006 15:53 IST
Vijay Goel, president of the Confederation of All India Traders and former Union minister, has said that the business community in the capital would hold dharnas and demonstrations on Wednesday to protest against sealing of their business premises by the Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Goel told rediff.com that the Congress government is responsible for creating chaos in the capital. "Thousands of families have been affected by the sealing drive being carried out at the directive of the Delhi High Court. The Congress is in power both at the Centre as well as the state. They have done nothing on the issue. Instead they are watching the developments helplessly," the agitated former Member of Parliament said.
"The traders whose businesses are being sealed have been reduced to the status of beggars. Even the refugees from Bangladesh were given better treatment," Praveen Khandelwal, a leading businessman, told rediff.com.
He blamed the Residents Welfare Associations, who have filed writ petitions against misuse of the government land by traders, for raking up the issue when they themselves were guilty of violating building laws and by-laws.
Property dealers are having a field day and making best use of the shortage of the commercial space. Rentals have shot up at least four times in last six months. Big business houses and owners of commercial properties are asking for six months advance rent.
The trading community has sent a memorandum to President A P J Abdul Kalam seeking his immediate intervention in the matter. "The sealing operations in Delhi are violative of the fundamental rights of the traders. Uprooting them without any relocation or rehabilitation is inhuman," said Pritam Malhotra, another businessman.
The Supreme Court will hear the government's arguments on bringing out an ordinance to legalise shops and offices in residential areas on September 25. During the last hearing on Monday the apex court had pulled up the Union government for coming up with fresh petition each time the matter is listed for hearing. The court also pulled up the government for not consulting the court on bringing out the ordinance.