Pay old conversion charge to prevent sealing: SC body tells shop owners
The DDA has been asked to notify the new rates at the earliest and the pending payments have to be made by March next year.delhi Updated: Dec 27, 2017 00:44 IST
Shop owners of six markets in south Delhi ,who have not paid the revised conversion charges for use of residential property for commercial purposes, can avoid sealing action of their premises.
The civic body authorities on Tuesday decided that traders can avoid sealing action if they paid conversion charge at old rates of Rs 22,000 per square metre and submit an affidavit stating that they would pay up the pending amount once the new rates were notified by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The DDA has been asked to notify the new rates at the earliest and the pending payments have to be made by March next year.
Source said the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee has also directed South Delhi Municipal Corporation to deseal properties in Defence Colony Market on the same condition. Last Thursday, the corporation along with officials of the monitoring committee, had sealed 51 units in Defence Colony, including popular restaurants and pubs, for non-payment of conversion charge for using the upper floors of their buildings meant for residential use.
The decision to provide relief was taken on Tuesday during a meeting of the Supreme-Court-appointed monitoring committee with the three municipal corporations, New Delhi Municipal Council, DDA and Delhi Police.
“The charges to be paid will be in addition to the interest accrued since 2012,” said an official present at the meeting.
The Defence Colony market traders, however, said they will not pay the revised conversion charge but challenge the decision in the Supreme Court. “Our market is commercial and does not fall under mixed land use. There is no reason for paying any conversion charge,” said Jitender Gupta, a member of the market association.
In 2012, the DDA had increased conversion rates from Rs 6,136 per sq metre to Rs 89,000 per sq metre for ‘A category’ markets. However, the move was opposed by shopkeepers who demanded the ‘high’ rates be reduced.
“Thereafter, in 2015, the DDA had made a proposal for changing the rates from RS 89,000 per sq metre to Rs 22,000 per sq metre and submitted it to lieutenant governor. Till the time the rates are finalised, the monitoring committee has asked the officials to collect Rs 22,000 from shopkeepers, in addition to the affidavit,” said an official.
Kamaljeet Sehrawat, mayor, South Delhi Municipal Corporation said that the civic body has already written to the DDA for speeding up the process to notify the new rates.
Besides non-payment of conversion charges, the panel is empowered to target commercial establishments carrying out illegal construction and instances of misuse of agricultural land for commercial purposes.
East Delhi shops sealed
In east Delhi, the civic agency sealed 29 shops for non-payment of conversion charges. “The drive is taken on the direction of monitoring committee and against shop woners who have not paid the conversion charges despite serving notices. The areas where sealing took place included Shakarpur, Mayur Vihar III, Vishwas Nagar, Krishna Na)gar and Gandhi Nagar,” said EDMC official.