Hundreds of tourists residing in Paharganj guesthouses will soon have no place to stay.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is planning to seal those guesthouses that have not registered themselves with the civic agency for carrying out commercial activities. There are a total of 400 guesthouses in Paharganj, of which 150-odd do not have licences from the MCD.
The MCD has issued notices to as many as 60 guesthouses stating that sealing action will be carried out within 48 hours if they fail to register themselves by Monday.
The notice, dated November 18, has been sent by the assistant engineer of the building department of Sadar Paharganj (SP) zone, a copy of which is with HT.
"We have served notices to the guesthouse owners as they have not registered themselves. If they failed to do so, we will seal the premises," said Renu Jagdev, deputy commissioner of SP zone.
The guesthouse owners claimed they did not register themselves because they come under the Special Area, outlined in the yet to be implemented Delhi Masterplan 2021, which includes the SP zone. They also don't have to pay conversion charges that they pay to change the status of roads from residential to commercial.
"The status quo has to be maintained till the masterplan is approved by the Supreme Court," said Arun Gupta, general secretary of the Delhi Hotel Mahasangh.
"They are allowing construcion of new guesthouses, though according to Supreme Court's order new licences cannot be given. Why aren't those structures being sealed?" said Ajay Aggarwal, President of the Delhi Hotel Mahasangh.