SC-body asks North corporation to inspect kitchens, basements within its area
On Wednesday, monitoring committee member KJ Rao inspected the hotels and guest houses in Karol Bagh along with officials from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and found “rampant violations.”Updated: Feb 14, 2019 14:44 IST
The SC-appointed monitoring committee on Wednesday asked the north Delhi civic body to inspect the basements and kitchens of all guest houses, restaurants and hotels in Karol Bagh where 17 people were killed in a massive fire that took place in a five-storey hotel.
On Wednesday, monitoring committee member KJ Rao inspected the area along with officials from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and found “rampant violations.”
“The number of unauthorised constructions has multiplied in the area since 2007, when the committee had first inspected the place and reported violations in the Apex court. We have asked the corporation to inspect all kitchens and basements, which are being used for storage and even cooking, which is a gross violation,” said Rao.
However, he said all establishments constructed before February 2007 in the area are immune from punitive action till 2020, under the Special Provisions Act, which stops municipal agencies from taking action.
“The act must not see any further extension while the concerned agencies must start redeveloping these areas. We are going to file a report on the status of unauthorised constructions in the area in the SC,” said Rao.
The committee since the incident has been receiving a number of complaints against the flouting of norms by commercial establishments in Karol Bagh, he said.
“We have forwarded some of the complaints to the municipal corporation for action,” said Rao.
During the recent sealing drive, he said, the committee had pointed out a number of violations and even sealed some establishments for “misuse”. However, it was still difficult to locate which are the new constructions that could be penalised for violations.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act 2017 protects special areas, slums and unauthorised colonies from punitive action till 2020, as the act was extended for a period of three years.
The Act was passed by the Parliament in 2007 after the Central sought time to make a detailed development plan for the areas mentioned in it.
The law was to provide temporary relief to people in these areas.
The three-member Monitoring Committee was revived by the SC in 2017 to take action against commercial establishments for nonpayment of ‘conversion charge’ and for the alleged violation of civic norms such as misuse of properties, and illegal constructions.
The committee resumed the sealing drive in the city on December 22, 2017 shutting down hundreds of commercial establishments flouting land-use norms.
North MCD mayor Adesh Kumar Gupta said, “Our Deputy commissioner from the Karol Bagh zone, Kapil Rastogi, accompanied KJ Rao and other members of the monitoring Committee to the fire site. We are waiting for the enquiry report from the deputy commissioner before taking any action.”