Shops and other commercial establishments that were sealed or targeted for sealing in villages and unauthorised colonies can breathe easy now. The Urban Development Ministry has ordered the operations to cease till December 31.
By then, a separate policy will be in place for unauthorised colonies and villages, which, it is hoped, will condone all existing violations. Those likely to benefit include the retailers on Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. These and scores of other properties had been sealed and marked for demolition in a drive ordered by the Supreme Court and implemented by a monitoring committee appointed by it.
The waiver applies to coaching institutes and management institutes, eateries and other commercial establishments in villages and unauthorised colonies. Schools, teaching institutes and socio-cultural-religious institutions on farmland will also benefit from this.
The Ministry spokesperson said the directions were issued under the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2007, that empowers the Ministry to issue directives to the local bodies. “The de-sealing operations will be carried out not-withstanding any decree, judgment or order of the court,” said a ministry statement.
The officials were not clear yet about the exact details of areas and places exempted from sealing by this order. They said that it is for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to determine which shops and establishments could be de-sealed. MCD’s Standing Committee Chairman Vijender Gupta said a meeting has been called on Saturday to thrash out the details.
Praveen Khandelwal, leader of the traders’ organisation, said the Ministry’s move would provide relief to all those establishments sealed in Neb Sarai, Saidul-Ajaib, Mahipalpur and so on.