Trouble may be brewing for the BJP ahead of the MCD elections next month.
A number of traders in some of the city’s plush markets are facing the threat of their businesses being sealed for not paying conversion charges. The executive wing of the MCD is planning to seal all shops whose owners have not fully paid conversion fees.
Any such action by the civic agency could work against the ruling BJP in the elections to be held on April 15.
The Congress had suffered big losses because of a sealing drive before the 2006 elections.
According to sources, a number of councillors have been pressuring the building department not to take any action before the elections. But the executive wing has been going ahead with its plan.
So far, 500-odd notices have been served to shops in the south zone. Similarly, 400 notices have been served in the central zone. If owners fail to deposit the conversion amount, the building department will seal their properties.
“We have sent notices to traders in the south and central zones and will continue doing so throughout the week. If they fail to pay the conversion charges, we will seal their shops,” said a senior MCD official.
Thousands of shops in plush markets such as Hauz Khas, Green Park, South Extension, Kalkaji, Satya Niketan, Aurobindo Marg, Malviya Nagar Saket and Lajpat Nagar, among others, are in the line of fire.
Traders operating in the areas are to pay conversion charges to the MCD for continuing commercial activities.
A survey was conducted in the south and central zones. Residential properties on some roads are permitted to be used commercially under the master plan of 2021 only after the owners pay a one-time charge for parking and registration, and an annual conversion charge.
The owner of a small shop in a posh area has to pay at least R15,000 per month as conversion charges while those of big showrooms have to pay as much as R8 lakh. “A number of traders either don’t pay at all or pay only half the amount. We will carry out sealing in case someone has paid partially too,” said a senior MCD official.