Mass suicides likely if shopkeepers,pavement dwellers ignored: BJP
New Delhi, Mar 11: Warning the government of another ''mass suicide'' like those of farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra if the interests of small shopkeepers in the Capital were overlooked, the BJP today said rendering 'rehri-patri' owners out of the pavement and sealing of shops in residential areas would lead to ''deaths by the dozen'' here.
Already one small shopkeeper in Tilak Nagar has committed suicide a few days back and many more would be forced to take the extrmee step if their livelihood was snatched by the ''inaction'' and ''dual-faced attitude'' of the Congress government, state BJP chief Harshvardhan told mediapersons.
''The MCD, controlled by the Congress, does not even go to the court to present a fair and balanced view of the issue which concerned five lakh shopkeepers and which would affect nearly 25 lakh people.'' It was the duty of the government to put before the court the reality and facts on the issue aggressively and impress upon it the implications of such a sensitive matter, said the BJP leader.
''Even the Supreme Court has said it was not averse to the proposal if the 'Trade Registration Plan 2004' giving ad hoc licences for running shops in houses to house-owners to the maximum of 25 per cent of floor area or 30 sq mts to certain professions like provision stores, barber shops, or tuition centres.'' For this the MCD should put the case in a positive manner before the court which could save the livelihood of lakhs, he said.
''On mixed land use, we demand that shops on over roads be spared the hammer.'' On the issue of 'rehri-patri' owners being vacated from pavements a ''human appraoch'' was needed to solve the problem as it involved the livelihood of lakhs.
Delhi Pradesh BJP secretary Vijender Gupta said despite a proposal, under Section 74 of the MCD Act, was moved to this effect yesterday in the MCD it was not included in the agenda under a planned conspiracy. ''This showed that the livelihood of lakhs was not the concern of the Congress government.''