NEW DELHI: Up to 2,500 markets in Delhi will witness a complete shutdown as traders have called for a bandh against the sealing drive on Wednesday. Delhi traders will be organising a public rally at Ramleela Maidan in which an estimated one lakh people will take part. The bandh call on Wednesday was given by the Chamber of Trade Industries (CTI) along with Confederation of All India Traders, Indian Industries and Trade Group, and Federation of Trade Association.
CTI Convener Brijesh Goyal and head Subhash Khandelwal are claiming that the March 28 shutdown will be a historic one as it has been supported by all political parties, traders' associations, as well as more than 2000 other small and large-scale organisations.
The markets that will remain closed on Wednesday include Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Chawri Bazar, Connaught Place, Gandhi Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Rajouri Garden, Lajpat Nagar, Greater Kailash, South Extension, Sarojini Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Naya Bazar, Bhagirath Place, Lajpatrai Market, Kashmiri Gate, Preet Vihar, Shahadra, Krishna Nagar, Janak Puri, Tilak Nagar, Model Town and many more.
As a mark of protest, many traders have not even sent their children to school and colleges so that they can participate in the rally. "Inclusion of family women and children in the Rally will indicate the Government that sealing of one shop badly affects the livelihood of about 20 families. In totality about 40 lakh people in Delhi are being affected by the sealing," CAIT secretary general and chairman of the Rally, Praveen Khandelwal said.
More than 500 buses have been arranged to facilitate traders, their children, employees and other family members reach the venue. At least 20 industrial areas and 20,000 transporters have also joined the shutdown call demanding that the Centre bring forth a bill or an ordinance to stop the sealing drive.
The traders also held a protest in about 100 markets in Delhi on Tuesday demanding immediate stoppage of sealing and de-sealing of shops which have been sealed so far.
Holding the government responsible, the traders have said that action should be taken against erring officials. "Government has failed to develop sufficient commercial space in Delhi. The connivance of officials has resulted in unauthorised constructions. Why only traders are penalised. Why not stern action is taken against the erring officials," Khandelwal said.