Panic-stricken scrap dealers of Mayapuri Industrial Area Phase-II — which witnessed a violent clash between the police and the traders during a sealing drive, ordered by the Delhi government’s Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) in pursuance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders April 13 — have started a “beautification drive” in the area.
The traders are now painting their shutters bright blue and yellow, installing flower pots on their shops’ staircases, clearing the road of any garbage left behind and ensuring that no trash is burnt during day or night time.
HT visited the site Sunday and saw that the local traders’ associations have published hundreds of posters, saying ‘Clean Delhi, Green Delhi, Save Mayapuri’ and even pasted them on walls and trees in C-Block of the industrial area, where five units were sealed by a team of officials from the DPCC, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Delhi Cantonment.
“We have taken up a greening initiative to convey the message that we are all for clean air and healthy environment. We will not let Mayapuri get the pollution tag. The scrap unit owners have washed and painted the shop shutters. Also, there is no scrapping material lying on roads now as we have shifted all of it inside the units,” said Harbansh Singh Alagh, president, Scrap Merchants’ Association, Mayapuri.
Neeraj Sehgal, general secretary of the Mayapuri Industrial Area Welfare Association, said, they are even willing to do the job that “the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) should have done to give Mayapuri a green and clean look”.
“It’s been 30 years since Mayapuri was established, and roads were made. Parks are not maintained, streetlights don’t work; there are no urinals or a proper drainage system. Dust keeps flying. Obviously, Mayapuri scrap market bears a dirty look, but is it our mistake? Besides taxes, we pay a share of our profits to the authorities. We are paying for the laxity of the authorities,” Sehgal said.
Traders also said their businesses have gone down by almost 90% over the past week and they are awaiting the Delhi High Court order expected to be passed on April 26.
“The scrap market, particularly, has been shut for last few days. Owners themselves are not opening their shops for fear of sealing. There is no sale/purchase happening, but we are paying rents for the space occupied and it’s weighing heavy on our pockets,” said Dapneet Singh, whose Galaxy Automobile was sealed April 13.
“At least 50% of the labourers engaged in the work have gone back to their respective villages for lack of work or have found work at other places,” said Balbir Singh Alagh, vice-president of the association.
Gurpreet Singh, owner of Mehr International, a leather factory that had been closed, said people here have already approached senior leaders across party lines but without any assurance of relief. “Everyone just tells us that it’s been ordered by the court, so they are helpless,” said Singh.
On an average, at least 100 vehicles were dismantled in a day in the market, traders said. But after the violent clash during sealing drive, which left 14 people injured, the market wears a deserted look. Traders say, not much work is happening in the market.
A Delhi Government officer, who requested anonymity, said, “After the stay granted on sealing, we are waiting for the Delhi High Court to pronounce its views on the Mayapuri matter on Friday. Any action will be taken only after that.”
A senior DPCC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “We are preparing a report on the present status of pollution causing activities and the action taken by the committee to be submitted in the NGT.”
The DPCC had, in a statement earlier this week, stated that it will take a decision on further sealing operations in the area after assessing the law and order situation.
First Published: Apr 22, 2019 06:00 IST