Continuing with the sealing drive, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday sealed upper floors and basements of 38 commercial establishments in the popular Hauz Khas Market. The major units sealed include three public sector banks — SBI, UCO, Bank of Baroda; a number of consultancy offices and a gym, among others. The units are being sealed for “misuse” and “unauthourised construction”.The sealing exercise is being conducted on directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee. “The building department of the South Zone, while ensuring compliance of the committee, took action against the properties where commercial activities were found in the basements and upper floors of the shops,” said a senior SDMC officer.The North Corporation too, sealed 58 commercial units in areas under its Karol Bagh Zone, including Old Rajendra Nagar and Ramesh Nagar, among others. In these areas too, basements and upper floors were sealed.Meanwhile, in a bid to mark a protest against the ‘sealing drive’, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called a citywide ‘bandh’ in which over 350 major markets will remain shut on Tuesday.The major markets including Chandni Chowk, South Extension-I and II, Hauz Khas, Lajpat Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Ysusuf Sarai, Greater Kailash, and Defence Colony, among others.”Why should a sword keep hanging on the traders’ community always? We demand immediate de-sealing of the shops. Besides, they have to implement the floor area ratio (FAR) as recommended in the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 instead of harassing us,” said Rajendra Malik, president, Defence Colony Traders Association.Calling the drive “ruthless”, the traders’ body is demanding immediate de-sealing of the shops shut so far. Besides, anxious traders claimed if local shopping complexes under the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) can use basements for commercial use, then markets all over the city should be allowed to use basements for business as well.The Committee has sealed over 50 basements in Defence Colony markets earlier this month.The Aam Admi Party (AAP) too, supporting the traders’ cause, announced on Tuesday that it will allow traders in all 70 assembly constituencies to protest.Senior AAP leaders, including Gopal Rai, Chandni Chowk legislator Alka Lamba and Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain, will visit their respective constituencies to participate in the ‘bandh’.TRADERS UPSETThe traders have called the drive “ruthless”, demanding immediate de-sealing of shops
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