Delegation of traders will meet Rajnath Singh, LG Anil Baijal and Hardeep Puri on Tuesday to press for their demands
From page 01 Traders affected by the ongoing sealing drive in the city want the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to do away with the mandatory conditions such as creating parking facilities and getting fire clearance to avail of uniform floor area ratio and to use basements for commercial activities.
SOURCEDn Members of the Confederation of All India Traders protested against the sealing drive near Red Fort on Saturday.To protect the traders from this sealing drive, the DDA on Friday had approved three proposals of providing uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential complexes, reducing penalties on conversion charges and regularising agricultural godowns for commercial use by making amendments to the Delhi Master Plan 2021.
However, traders said that these proposals, if implemented, will bring no relief to them. They sent a petition to the Union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Puri on Saturday, urging him to do away with the ‘riders’ — provision of parking and a mandatory fire clearance — associated with the DDA’s proposals.
“The amendments are not conducive to the existing situation in Delhi’s markets.These proposals will not save traders from sealing drive and only create confusion among the authorities and shopkeepers,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of Confederation of All India Traders.
The other points mentioned in petition included three colonies Greater Kailash, Green Park and South Extension should be enlisted on the list of rehabilitation colonies and given facilities similar to other such colonies, allowing commercial use of basement uniformly in any street and restricting the time period for paying conversion charges to 10 years.
“The DDA should come out with a notification that shopkeepers paid conversion charges for 10 years will not to pay the charges further,” said Khandelwal.
Traders said that creating spaces for parking is the responsibility of the municipal corporations that have collected crores of rupees as one-time parking fees and failed to create such facilities.
“Creating stilt parking in the market is impossible because each building has three to four co-owners. And nobody would come forward to reconstruct his/ her building. The parking space can be only be developed by local authorities,” said Vijay Kumar, president South Extension II Market Association.
A senior DDA official, however, said that some restrictions need to be imposed to keep civic order.
“How can we allow commercial activities in a building without proper parking facility? It is between the MCD and the traders to find a solution. They have the option of declaring the market complexes as ‘pedestrian zone’,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.
“Also, obtaining the fire No-objection Certificate (NOC) from the Delhi Fire Services is mandatory because in case of any accident, DDA will be held responsible for making wrong amendments to the master plan,” he said further.
A delegation of traders will meet minister of home affairs Rajnath Singh, L-G Anil Baijal and Puri on Tuesday to clarify their demands. They want the Centre to consider these points before approving amendment in Delhi Master Plan 2021.
As an immediate relief to them, shopkeepers want the Centre to come out with a bill in Parliament to stop the sealing for next six months.
“The government can utilise the time to understand the traders problem in detail and approve amendment in the master plan accordingly,” said Sushil Goel, a trader from Khari Baoli, who is a member of CAIT.