With around 4,000 commercial establishments in residential areas having been shut by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) in the past week, the spectre of sealing has returned to haunt Delhiites.
Another 20,000 odd properties may be sealed in the coming days, MCD sources said.
Among those affected is well known dietician Shikha Sharma, who confirmed her clinic had been sealed on Wednesday.
The spots being sealed are properties located in areas marked for either ‘commercial use’ or ‘mixed land use’ — both residential and commercial activity — under Master Plan of Delhi 2021. There were 2,538 such stretches. These areas were all earmarked as ‘residential only’ once but saw considerable commercial activity.
The Supreme Court ordered all such shops and offices closed, and the MCD began implementing the order — shutting down over 20,000 properties and sparking widespread panic.
The urban development ministry stepped in then, to amend the law and allow for mixed land use.
The MPD, formulated thereafter, spelt out precisely which areas qualified for mixed land use.
Those using residential areas for commerce, however, were told to pay an annual ‘conversion charge’ to regularise their establishments.
But many have not – and they are being targeted in the latest drive.
“We are authorised to seal shops which have not paid conversion charges and will continue with the drive in the coming days,” said Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) commissioner K.S. Mehra.