New Delhi Municipal Council issues notices seeking structural safety certificates from Khan Market shops
The New Delhi Municipal Council has sent notices to Khan Market property owners to conduct a structural safety study and submit a certificate to the civic body.delhi Updated: Feb 23, 2017 17:56 IST
The New Delhi Municipal Council has sent notices to Khan Market property owners to conduct a structural safety study and submit a certificate to the civic body.
The move comes after two incidents of roof collapse in Connaught Place’s C and L blocks on February 2 and 11 respectively, raising questions on safety of these central Delhi markets.
“The notices have been issued under Section 258 (1) of the NDMC Act-1994. All the shopowners and residents will have to provide these safety certificates by March 6. It will be a self declaration by the owners, attested by a structural engineer that a particular shop or flat space doesn’t deviate from the sanctioned building plan and items on rooftop are there with necessary permission,” a senior NDMC official said.
There are 156 shops and 74 residential spaces in Khan Market, which was set up as a neighbourhood market in 1950 and is now one of the most expensive commercial spaces in the world. Of the 74 residential spaces on the first and second floors, 44 are engaged in commercial activities housing 30 restaurants, while another 10 eateries are located on the ground floor.
On February 14, NDMC had also asked Connaught Place traders to submit similar documents. The CP traders, however, have submitted a memorandum asking for more time.
Meanwhile, the Khan Market Traders Association isn’t happy about this safety certificate “diktat”.
“The units on the first and the second floors are flouting all norms, and have overloaded the roofs. Why do people in the ground floor have to submit these even though we are not violating any norms? Khan Market was initially meant for shops on the ground floor and residential flats on the first floor. In 2000, residential flats on the first floor were converted into commercial complexes. In the past few years, most restaurants have come up on the first and above floors. These need to be regulated,” Sanjeev Mehra, president of the Khan Market Traders Association said.
According to him, this was an extra burden for most compliant shop owners because of this NDMC move.
“We are meeting with a structural engineer on Wednesday to discuss the process. We will decide the next course of action after that. Experts from IIT-Roorkee were hired by New Delhi Municipal Council two years back for advice on retrofitting of the old structures of this market established in 1950. However, we are yet to even see that particular report,” Mehra said.