The National Green Tribunal has directed Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to submit a “comprehensive and definite plan” as to how traffic in crowded Chandni Chowk market can be permitted to carry on without interfering with commercial activity.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked CAIT to formulate a workable plan on the plea of the traders’ body seeking modification/clarification of March 16 NGT order which had banned loading and unloading of goods between 11 AM and 8 PM.
“Have you been to Chandni Chowk. You cannot make traffic immovable and create chaos on the roads. Prepare a workable plan and submit suggestions,” the bench said while posting the case for next hearing on June 15.
Traders across the capital have expressed unhappiness over the tribunal’s ban on the loading and unloading of goods in busy markets during the day to reduce traffic congestion.
The green panel had on March 16 directed that “in all the markets, particularly Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, South Extension, Chandni Chowk and other densely polluted markets, the loading and unloading would not be allowed from 11 AM to 8 PM everyday”.
Advocate Shilpi Jain, appearing for CAIT, told the tribunal that as per Delhi Shops and Establishments Act no employee can be made to work for more than eight hours a day and thus loading and unloading of goods after 8 PM would require additional labour resulting in incurring of greater costs.
“Essential items like milk, vegetables, fruits etc have to be dropped at outlets like Mother Dairy thrice a day. These items are perishable and cannot be stored for long,” Jain said while seeking modification of the NGT order.
CAIT, has also contended that loading and unloading of goods during night may lead to law and order problems and increase in crime rate.