Sealing drive back, 30 shops in Delhi’s Amar Colony closed
After a gap of three months, the sealing drive returned to south Delhi’s Amar Colony area as the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) sealed 30 shops on Friday.
The action was taken on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee looking into land use violations in the national Capital.
“We sealed the front portion of these shops a few months ago. Today, we sealed the rear side of these buildings after we received complaints that shop owners were illegally carrying business activity from the rear,” said a senior SDMC official.
The sealing drive would return in the area in a few days subject to police availability, officials familiar with the matter, who did not wish to be identified, said.
Shop owners, meanwhile, said Friday’s drive had been carried without “verifying facts”.
Anita Arora, a resident of block 3, said, “The officials sealed the rear side of my brother’s house. I repeatedly told them no commercial activity was being carried from the premises. We had just rented it out to a family. The action was taken without any prior notice.”
Chetan Arora, a shopkeeper whose shop had earlier been sealed in March, said officials along with police “barged” into his house. “My wife and mother were having meal when they insisted that they check the house. They found nothing. We condemned this kind of action,” he said.
SDMC officials said that if people have any objections to Friday’s sealing, then they can pursue the matter with the SC-appointed monitoring committee.
Apart from sealing 30 properties, the civic agency replaced the seal of 38 properties — sealed in March — as the seals has either got damaged or become lose.
In March this year, the civic agency had sealed 350 shops in the locality. The double storey in Lajpat Nagar’s Amar Colony market was developed and constructed by the Land and Development Authority (L&DO) in the 1950s and allotted to refugees after partition, said a senior SDMC official.
However, the common space in the front and rear, meant for movement of pedestrians, was encroached upon.
“We had rounds of meeting with monitoring panel members and L&DO officials. We also asked the reason for sealing shops in only eight of 24 blocks,” said Mandeep Singh Kohli, general secretary, Double Storey Market Trader Association.
A member of SC-appointed monitoring committee said, “We had already issued notice to L&DO asking them to seal the rest of the shops as well. We are planning to share the matter in next hearing of the Supreme Court.”
“We have shared a list of 11,000 residential properties constructed by government agencies and later misused for commercial purposes or encroachment,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation also took sealing action against two farm houses and sealed them with the help of local police on Friday.