Do you build a house on a plot of land not belonging to you? Well, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is planning to do something similar.
The redevelopment plan of the Old and New Mini Market at Janpath includes a modern parking facility, incorporating a plot of land behind the LIC building, currently used as an authorised parking.
The civic body and traders from the Old Mini Market Janpath have been at loggerheads over the way the redevelopment work should be carried out and also about how much space should be given to Old Mini Market traders and to tehbazari holders.
In a reply to an RTI application filed by a trader from the Old Mini Market, the Land and Development Officer (L&DO) has answered that the plot of land (a narrow strip of approximately 9 metres) behind the LIC building, stands allotted to the LIC.
“How can the NDMC go ahead with a new parking, underground or otherwise, incorporating a plot of land, which does not belong to it?” asks Sanjiv Bhasin, of the Old Mini Market Traders’ Association.
The LIC had parted with the space a few years ago for road expansion, but some time later, the NDMC constructed a wall between this strip of land and the Old Mini Market.
The space is since being used as an authorised parking. NDMC has plans to build new, similarly-designed shops, along with a modern parking facility.
However, the bone of contention between the NDMC and traders has been the way the redevelopment plan is designed.
The Lt Governor has asked the matter to be considered after taking views of the Fire Department on adequacy of access and circulation area.
However, NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari maintained, “The plot of land was transferred by the LIC as per completion plan norms to the NDMC. The re-development plan also envisages a parking at the same place.”