To protest the ongoing sealing drive, prominent south Delhi markets such as South Extension I and II, Greater Kailash I and II, Green Park, Defence Colony, Hauz Khas will remain shut on Friday. Rajender Malik, president of the Defence Colony Traders’ Association, said, “We are protesting against the sealing drive because despite paying conversion charges, making payment to get additional floor area ratio approved, our properties are being sealed. The whole of Delhi has encroachments and we are ready to pay fine but instead of giving a solution, our businesses are being made to suffer.”
After a traders’ meet in South Extension Part I on Thursday, representatives of most of these markets reached the conclusion that they need to stage a protest “for their voices to be heard”.
Anil Aggarwal, member of the traders’ association, said, “We will keep our shops closed and hold a peaceful protest around 11 am. We want to send the message that we have been doing our business peacefully. We pay our taxes and if the authorities think we have not followed rules, they can sit with us and tell us what needs to be done. But sealing of any shop will badly affect the business.”
On the direction of a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, the municipal corporations have, since December 22, sealed more than 300 business establishments across Delhi. The action has been taken as the shops had not paid conversion charges, encroached on government land and built commercial properties on agricultural land. The leader of the House in South Corporation and BJP leader Shikha Rai said, “We have been repeatedly told to get the floor area ratio increased. We met the monitoring committee on Thursday and asked them to wait till the time we don’t get an answer from Urban Development Ratio, asking them to get the floor area ratio notification increased and three floors be allowed.”
There is a lot of ambiguity in the way the monitoring committee is functioning and we will go to court requesting them to get the sealing stopped, she said.