Relief for Delhi traders as Centre hints at ending sealing drive in slew of measures
The measures will come into effect after the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 is amended by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which will take a final call in its board meeting on February 2.delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2018 06:49 IST
The Central government on Wednesday announced a slew of measures aimed at bringing relief to shop owners across the national Capital and ending the sealing drive that has hit several markets in the city.
Terming the situation arising from the sealing of shops and commercial complexes as “exceptional” and a “public order issue”, the government recommended allowing more construction in commercial- and mixed-land-use areas, regularising commercial establishments in basements, and reducing conversion penalties in residential areas that are used for commercial activity.
The measures will come into effect after the Master Plan of Delhi-2021 is amended by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which will take a final call in its board meeting on February 2.
“We have proposed these amendments to the DDA,” Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters on Wednesday. “The citizens of Delhi have been subjected to a considerable amount of uncertainty. There is also a sense of fear among some sections, including traders. These measures are aimed at addressing these issues and reducing their pain,” Puri added.
He also said that the Centre has decided to reduce the mandatory requirement under DDA law for inviting objections and suggestions for any proposed amendments from 45 days to three days.
The government’s move comes a day after a high-level meeting — chaired by Puri and attended by Delhi’s lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal, housing secretary DS Mishra, three municipal commissioners, NDMC chief Naresh Kumar and DDA vice-chairman Udai Pratap Singh — looked at various options to end the sealing crisis in the Capital.
Among other measures that the housing ministry has proposed are providing uniform Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for shops in residential plots, commercial streets and local shopping centres. “This will legalise the extra floors in shops and commercial establishments running from residential areas,” a ministry official said.
The ministry has also proposed to reduce penalty charges for conversion, which are currently ten times the annual conversion charge for mixed use in residential areas.
Several Delhi markets, including Defence Colony, Khan Market and Hauz Khas, have been hit by sealing drives carried out by a Supreme Court-mandated monitoring committee. The Delhi government has been raising its voices against sealing, calling it “anti-people”.
The Union government has to appear before the Supreme Court on February 7, when an ongoing case regarding unauthorised use of residential areas in Delhi will be next heard.