South Delhi civic body collects Rs 17 crore in 2 weeks from traders after sealing drive
Shopkeepers from various markets in south Delhi have come forward to pay conversion charges to prevent sealing after the upper floors of 51 shops and restaurants in Defence Colony were locked down by SDMCdelhi Updated: Jan 10, 2018 15:23 IST
The recent sealing drive in Delhi markets has helped the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) collect Rs 17 crore as ‘use conversion charge’ from traders in just two weeks. The amount is much higher than the average collection made by the civic body in a month, which is Rs 7.7 crore.
Shopkeepers from various markets in south Delhi have come forward to pay the due charges to prevent sealing after the upper floors of 51 shops and restaurants in Defence Colony were locked down by SDMC on December 22 last year. The civic body, after receiving directions from the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, had asked the traders to pay the conversion charges to get access to the sealed portions.
However, the shopkeepers said that the rate of ‘use conversion charge’ at Rs 89,000 per sqm was too high and demanded that it be lowered. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) later reduced the ‘use conversion charge’ rate to Rs 22,700 per sqm for 80 local markets, including Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas and Green Park.
Further, to give relief to traders on roads notified as commercial roads, pedestrian shopping streets and mixed land use roads (under MPD 2021) in south Delhi, the area’s civic body on January 4 also started waiving off interest and penalty for property owners who pay in lump sum the conversion and parking charges, as applicable from 2007.
“These measures motivated shopkeepers in local markets as well as markets on notified commercial roads (as per Delhi Master Plan 2021) to pay the one time ‘use conversion charge’ and yearly ‘conversion charge,” said Shikha Rai, leader of house, SDMC.
“The amount of Rs 17 crore has been collected between December 22 and January 8. Of the total collection, the maximum amount has been received from traders in SDMC’s central zone. It includes markets such as Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, Amar Colony and South Extension,” she said.
Traders from markets in south zone, which includes Saket and Vasant Kunj areas, are also coming forward to pay the charges, the official said. The department has received Rs 6.18 crore from the central zone, Rs 5.72 crore from the south zone, Rs 4.6 crore from the west zone and Rs 91 lakh from Najafgarh zone between December 22 and January 8 in conversion charges.