After Defence Colony, other south Delhi markets on sealing panel’s radar
A week after its sealing powers were re-established, a Supreme Court-appointed panel sprung into action, shutting ten establishments in Chattarpur on Thursday and 51 units, including shops and popular restaurants, in south Delhi’s Defence Colony market on Friday.
South Delhi is likely to see more sealing action next week. It is understood that such commercial units are being run in South Extension, Green Park, Hauz Khas and Greater Kailash markets, said a statement issued by South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday.
Bhure Lal, one of the three members of the panel, also confirmed that the drive will continue in coming days where establishments misusing residential premises for commercial use will be targeted.
The establishments can be de-sealed if they furnish conversion charges and get their maps approved, municipal officials said.
“If shopkeepers pay conversion charges and inform the monitoring committee about it, then their shops will be de-sealed,” said an SDMC official.
Traders in Greater Kailash market expressed hope that they will not face action as they had already paid the required conversion charges to the municipal corporation.
“We have paid one-time parking charges and one-time ad-hoc conversion charges. We are ready to other charges if the authorities so demand,” said Rajendra Sharda, president, GK M-Block Market Association.
Areas including GK Market and South Extension had seen similar sealing drives when the panel was set up by the Apex court in 2006.
The officials of North Delhi Municipal Corporation said they have also noted violations in areas under their jurisdiction but had not got a go ahead from the panel for sealing.
“There is no intimation about sealing action but there are markets such as Model Town II, Rani Bagh, Adarsh Nagar and Kohat Enclave where ‘misuse’ of residential establishments has been found. Also, shopkeepers have not paid conversion charges,” said a north corporation spokesperson.
The Union government on Friday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that proposed to extend for three years the provisions of a law that protected slums and unauthorised constructions in Delhi from punitive action beyond their December 31 deadline. But the bill, SDMC officials said, had nothing to do with the ongoing sealing drive.
“The law offers immunity to establishments operating from residential premises if they fall in the areas demarcated for commercial and mixed land use under the amended Master Plan, 2021. This immunity applies on properties that came up before 2007. The immunity deadline is often misinterpreted. The 2014 deadline exemption from sealing and demolition applies only in the case of properties that fall in unauthorised colonies and abadi villages,” clarified a municipal official.