Hauz Khas village, home to popular resto-bars and designer boutiques, is at the centre of a demolition drive. Municipal authorities have cracked the whip on illegal properties in the area.
Five properties have been torn down within a week.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) officials, sources said, were forced into action by the “rampant” illegal construction in the market. The civic agency cracked the whip on three properties in the market, a haunt frequented by thousands every day, on Monday itself.
The SDMC will conduct a survey of the area, including the market, to identify floors and rooms constructed without necessary clearance.
The officials have pointed out that illegal constructions pose a risk to those living in the area because builders often do not consider structural safety, and they are built in a hurry to avoid detection.
“A number of property owners are carrying out illegal constructions, which range from adding a room to an entire floor. We destroyed illegal floors in the area, including ones at a restaurant,” said a senior SDMC official.
“A survey of the market and the area to assess the extent of illegal construction has been commissioned,” the official added.Of the five properties demolished by the civic agency, three were on the main notified commercial stretch that houses several restaurants and boutiques.
The officials said illegal construction and encroachment of the narrow lanes in the market have further reduced their widths, making it difficult for fire engines to enter the area in case of an emergency.
The SDMC department concerned has sent notices to around 100 shops on Aurobindo Marg and Africa Avenue and warned of a drive to seal errant establishments next week.
“We have issued notices to the traders. If they fail to deposit conversion charges, we will begin sealing their shops,” said a senior official. The sources said the south zone has so far listed 500 defaulters, but the total number could be as high as 2,000.
Residential properties on notified roads were allowed commercial activity under the 2021 Delhi Master Plan, but the owners were to pay one-time parking and registration charges and an annual conversion charge.