After turning the process of booking its grounds for weddings and other functions from manual to online, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has now cracked down on tent owners who put up shamianas (tents) on its grounds for days and force people to pay higher charges for the grounds.
On Thursday, DDA officials demolished some semi-permanent tents on its ground in northwest Delhi's Lawrence Road area.
According to senior DDA officials, the building agency will now take similar action against tent owners who put tents on grounds that are not booked after checking of documents.
The DDA has 154 halls, grounds and parks in Delhi that are offered for organising weddings and other social or religious functions.
Earlier this month, the process of booking was turned online to bring much-needed transparency in the process and removed the stranglehold of tentwallahs.
DDA community halls or grounds are available to anyone for a payment that varies between R17,000 and R50,000. The tentwallahs, however, used to book these facilities in advance under different names and erect semi-permanent pandals on them.
Those who actually needed to book these grounds had to then approach the tentwallah to book the same ground for a price that ranges between a few lakhs. This of course could happen, thanks to collusion of some DDA officials.
The DDA had constituted a committee to find out ways to ensure that only genuine users could book the grounds.
The doing away of manual booking by an online process is one of such measures.
Another suggestion is to hike the security amount for booking of grounds to deter tentwallahs.