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Sealing drive: As SC raps DDA, Traders still clueless about future

NEW DELHI: Hours after the Supreme Court castigated Delhi's civic authorities for "keeping their eyes closed" and waiting for a disaster to happen, the traders in the national capital remained doubtful about the future of their businesses.
Shops in the city reopened on Sunday after a two-day shutdown, called by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) as a protest against the ongoing sealing drive.
While on Friday, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had approved proposed amendments to the city's Master Plan, which are aimed to providing relief to the traders hit by the sealing drive, the traders continued the shutdown even after the DDA's decision.
On Saturday, CAIT sent a 12-point traders' charter of demand to Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, urging him to take necessary steps to mitigate the problems faced by the traders due to the ongoing sealing drive.
The DDA officials are still not clear on the implementation of the changed plans. The whole situation made the traders more clueless about the future. While a group of traders are against the strike, other sections associated with different political unions are looking for a political solution.
"The 48-hour Bandh was spontaneous and successful and amply reflected the amount of anguish and resentment of the traders," said Pravin Khandelwal, general secretary, CAIT.
Trade leaders from different states had joined their Delhi counterparts to take out a protest march from Red Fort to Town Hall in Chandni Chowk and later sat on a dharna demanding "justice" over the sealing issue.
However, the observations by the Supreme Court have brought some hope for the traders.
"Everybody in Delhi is just keeping their eyes closed and waiting for a disaster to happen. You (civic bodies) have learnt nothing from Uphaar fire tragedy and incidents in Bawana and Kamala Mills," a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said. Meanwhile, the AAP leaders have planned to conduct an daily meeting with the traders in every market of the Capital.
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