The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been on a sealing spree in the recent months as it cracks down on traders, who have not paid the annual conversion and parking charges, in ‘commercial and mixed land use’ stretches of the capital.
It has sealed 500 properties in the last two months alone.
But what the civic body hasn’t done is spend the Rs 759 crore it has collected as conversion and parking charges since June 2007 from the 2,538 stretches that were notified as either commercial or mixed land use under the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021.
As per the master plan, basic infrastructure such as power and water, and civic amenities such as parking and sewage systems should be provided along the notified stretches from the charges collected.
“We are formulating a policy under which parking facility will be created. It will be implemented soon," said MCD's Press and Information director Deep Mathur to his defence.
The traders complain of choked roads, traffic jams and lack of basic facilities.
The MCD has also sent notices to Chandni Chowk traders asking them to pay conversion and parking charges.
Chandni chowk slapped with notice
"We got a notice from MCD asking us to deposit conversion and parking charges within seven days failing which, our establishment will be sealed,” said R.K. Mehra, chairman, Rupa&Co.
“We received a notice from the Ballimaran councillor asking us to pay conversion and parking charges failing which our shops would be sealed,” said Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary of Chandni Chowk market association.
“This is being done at a time when the court has specifically exempted special areas such as Chandni Chowk from paying any such charges."
The MCD's sealing drive, however, shows no signs of slowing down. "We will start the sealing drive from Okhla Industrial area from next week on the non-notified roads that have been carrying out commercial activities on Industrial plots," said a senior MCD official.