New Delhi, Feb 2: All the major markets will remain shut in the national capital on Friday and Saturday following a call for a 48 hours bandh by traders’ associations against the sealing drive being conducted by municipal corporations.
“Delhi bandh for 48 hours started from today. Almost 25,000 markets will be closed, protests march against sealing would be taken out by businessmen in around 500 markets. The ongoing sealing is very harmful for our economy”, said Praveen Khandelwal, Confederation Of All India Traders.
Meanwhile, DDA member and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti said ” It’s BJP’s duty to fill loopholes in the master plan as it is in power in centre & MCD. Sealing could’ve been prevented if BJP did that. All legitimate demands of CM Kejriwal have been approved in a meeting. These demands will be put in the public domain.
On the other hand, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) approved changes to the city’s Master Plan – in a bid to provide relief to traders hit by the sealing drive.
The proposed amendments in the Master Plan include — increasing Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of local shopping complexes (LSCs) from existing 180 percent to 300 percent, and regularising agricultural godowns on 12-metre wide roads.
As per the proposed amendments, there will be a reduction in conversion charge penalties from existing 10 times to two times.
A statement from the development authority asserted that under these amendments, commercial activity in the basements will be allowed in all commercial areas “subject to payment of requisite charges without any discrimination”.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is chairman of DDA.
The sealing drive is underway against business establishments using residential areas for commercial purposes without paying conversion charges.
However, despite the concessions, shop owners decided to continue their protest against sealing.