Since last few weeks ’ bandhs’ have become a prevalent scenario in the main markets of Delhi.The local shoppers are returning empty-handed as a result of the bandh. Popular markets like Connaught Place, GK, Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk, Gaffar Market, Rajouri Garden, traders are observing strikes every now and then to protest the Delhi sealing drive carried out by the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee
The Supreme Court objectified to seal the illegal business establishments in the residential properties without paying the conversion charges. For the purpose, Supreme court has appointed a monitoring committee under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi headed by the BJP.
Is sealing linked to the Master Plan 2021?
The Delhi Masterplan allows the mixed land use policy for commercial and residential establishments.
After various protests and meetings held between the SC panel and the Delhi government, few amendments were proposed in the Masterplan 2021 which included increasing FAR (floor area ratio) fro 180 percent to 300 percent and reducing the current conversion charges penalty from 10 times to two times.
The Supreme Court carried a rigorous Delhi sealing drive back in 2006 also when the court ordered the sealing of all unauthorized constructions. Back then, Congress, being the central enacted a law to stop sealing and made amendments to the Masterplan 2021, giving a sigh of relief to the traders.
Role of AAP and Congress in seeking a solution to the sealing drive
In order to protect the interests of the traders, the members of AAP and Congress have consented to meet the SC-appointed monitoring committee to seek a solution to the ongoing Delhi sealing drive.
AAP along with three Congress members held a meeting at Delhi’s Chief Minister’s residence where the decision was taken.The meeting remained unattended by BJP members. AAP and Congress allege that BJP intends to help the big players of the industry by carrying out sealing in the markets of Delhi.
Effect of the strike on the market
The jam-packed markets of Delhi have come to a virtual halt as a result of the strike. This has resulted in a loss of nearly Rs 1500 crores along with Rs 125 crore loss per day to the government in the form of taxes.
One day of bandh affects about 20 lakh people and if the situation remains unchanged, it will adversely affect the traders and the government.
More than seven lakh traders from 2500 trader’s associations participate in the strike against the sealing.