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WHILE SEEKING permission to put up stalls for 20 days from Dussehra to Diwali this time, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal in a meeting with the Municipal Corporation officers were informed that they would have to pay a hefty fee of Rs 10,000 per day per stall in this case. The meeting took place at the MC office with Mayor Arun Sood and MC Commissioner Baldeo Purushartha.
President of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal Anil Vohra requested the officials that no shopkeeper could pay such a hefty price daily and if possible the amount should be reduced. Usually, the traders are allowed to put up stalls two days before the festival and on the day of the festival. For Karva Chauth, for example, the shopkeepers would be allowed to put up stalls from October 17 to 19. This time, however, they wanted that they might be allowed to put up stalls from Dussehra to Diwali that falls on October 30.
“We were told that the amount for other days is Rs 10,000 per stall per day. It is not possible for a shopkeeper to pay this amount for 20 days. Usually, during three days when we are allowed to put up stalls, a stall owner pays Rs 600 per stall per day; for other days, it can be Rs 1,000,” said Vohra. He added, “If a trader pays Rs 1,000 per day, MC would earn a good revenue of Rs 20,000 per trader. If the rate is Rs 10,000, nobody would come forward.”
The traders were then asked to give their proposal in writing. After a detailed discussion, the decision was left to the Finance and Contract Committee which would take a call on the issue on Thursday. “The days other than the three days when we allow stalls are considered as non-festive days. For those days, the fee is Rs 10,000 per day. But we have asked the traders to give it in writing and the same would be now placed before Finance and Contract Committee,” said Mayor Arun Sood. The police would also be consulted after the Finance and Contract Committee decides on the issue.