Sealing drive to continue in Delhi till Jan 12 hearing
A drive to shut down businesses for allegedly flouting civic norms in Delhi will continue till mid-January, officials said on Saturday, even as panic-stricken traders reached out to political parties seeking help to halt the sealing of illegal commercial properties.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the matter on January 12 and the exercise – which began on Thursday – likely to continue till then, sources told HT.
More than 50 business units, running from properties officially earmarked as residences, have been shut down in Defence Colony and Chattarpur since Thursday, barely a few days after the top court revived the sealing committee.
Sources said the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will continue to lock down other commercial establishments operating from residential floors without paying conversion charges and those that came up illegally on agricultural or forest land.
The buildings constructed without an approved building plan or on roads not notified in Master Plan 2021 will also be affected.
“The sealing exercise will resume on Tuesday after Christmas...,” said a highly-placed source. “We know that similar violation is rampant in South Extension, Green Park, Hauz Khas and Greater Kailash markets where the next drive will take place,” the source added.
The Defence Colony traders are planning to take legal recourse though the courts are closed till January 1.
Traders of other markets likely to be targeted sought help from political parties and also organised meetings to decide on a course of action. “We met Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and he assured us that sealing would not be done in our market,” said Rajendra Sharda, chairman of GK-1 market association.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party, which questioned the drive by the BJP-run municipal corporations, demanded waiver of the conversion charges traders. “There was no procedure followed. No prior notices were issued. The BJPruled MCD should waive off the charges,” said AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj.
For de-sealing the premises, particularly in Defence Colony Market, the owners have to approach the monitoring committee for relief after depositing an amount of ?1 lakh and also pay the pending conversion charges, officials said.
The traders of the posh market have decided to approach the top court against the sealing drive.
On December 15, the apex court revived the three-member committee that had ordered sealing of thousands of establishments between 2006 and 2012.
The panel is supposed to furnish the details of sealing exercise on a website which is under process. Sources said as many as 110 instances of sealing would be up on the website by January 10 before the case comes up for hearing in the apex court
“Action will continue in future also but those who have paid the conversion charges need not to worry. Officials will be meeting monitoring committee members next week, after which further plan will be decided,” said Puneet Goel, commissioner, South Delhi Municipal Corporation.