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Sealing drive suspended till Sep 30 (SECOND LEAD)

New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) Hours after the Supreme Court reserved its decision on the central government's plea on sealing commercial units in residential areas, Delhi's civic authorities suspended the drive till Sep 30 as adequate police personnel were not available to provide security.

Monday, September 25, 2006 | 10:33:42 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) Hours after the Supreme Court reserved its decision on the central government's plea on sealing commercial units in residential areas, Delhi's civic authorities suspended the drive till Sep 30 as adequate police personnel were not available to provide security.

'We have decided to suspend sealing till Sep 30 in view of the festive season. Since police are unable to provide adequate security, we have asked our officials to suspend the operation till Sep 30,' said a senior official of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

Soon after the court reserved its decision, the Group of Ministers that was formed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue, met for an hour.

'Delhi Police are stretched to maintain law and order during the festive season of Dussehra, Diwali and the holy month of Ramadan,' said Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.

He added the Group of Ministers would take a decision on sealing after the Supreme Court verdict.

Earlier Monday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said there was no decision yet to call for a special session of parliament to discuss the problems arising from the sealing of commercial units in residential areas in the capital.

'There is no such decision to call for a special session of parliament as yet,' Dasmunsi told reporters. 'No meeting of the cabinet committee on political affairs has been called on the issue,' he added.

The central government's plea against the sealing drive was presented before the court Monday, four days after the sealing drive was suspended.

The drive was stalled for four days from Thursday after violent protests in some areas leading to the death of four people. The hearing will take place before a division bench of the court.

The central government Friday filed an affidavit urging the apex court to hold as valid its notification to allow commercial activities on nearly 2,200 roads.

Residents' welfare associations and traders held a meeting Sunday and decided to urge the court to direct the government to compensate the traders affected by the sealing and to carry out the sealing work in a phased manner so that traders get ample time to shift their businesses.

'The government should provide alternative arrangements to traders before sealing their businesses,' said Praveen Khandelwal of the Confederation of Indian Traders.

Over 500,000 traders have been badly hit by the sealing drive, said Khandelwal.

Copyright : Indo-Asian News Service
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