South Delhi traders fear sealing may not be reversed after Supreme Court scrutiny
On Thursday, SDMC had issued detailed guidelines for regularisation of commercial units in local markets in a move aimed at starting the process of desealing 921 shops in localities such as Hauz Khas, Defence Colony, Greater Kailash and Green Park, among others.Updated: Aug 25, 2018 02:59 IST
After the Supreme Court on Friday questioned the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s (SDMC) guidelines for regularisation of commercial units in local markets, city traders said they now fear that it is unlikely their shops would be de-sealed anytime soon.
On Thursday, SDMC had issued detailed guidelines for regularisation of commercial units in local markets in a move aimed at starting the process of desealing 921 shops, restaurants and offices in prominent south Delhi localities such as Hauz Khas, Defence Colony, Greater Kailash and Green Park, among others. These shops had been sealed in the drive against land-use violations that was launched across Delhi last December.
While the SDMC maintained that the apex court’s scrutiny would not affect the implementation of guidelines, a member of a SC-appointed monitoring committee, on whose orders the municipal corporations conducted the sealing drive, blamed the civic agency for giving “false hope” to traders.
SDMC standing committee’s chairperson Shikha Rai said, “The court has not given stay order and just raised a question mark over the relevance of these guidelines. This will not affect our exercise for regularising commercial units.”
“In fact, the guidelines were issued after the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs had notified amendments in the Delhi Master Plan 2021 on June 21. So we are just adhering the norms. If required we will provide all clarification to Centre,” said Rai.
The member of the SC-appointed committee, however, said SDMC is unnecessarily creating confusion. “When the matter is still in the apex court how can they issue these guidelines?” the member, who asked not to be named, said.
The development has left the traders in a new dilemma. “We are completely confused. Despite paying the use conversion charges in the past, our shops were sealed because the building bylaws were allowing only 180 floor area ratio (FAR). Now, the Centre had amended the Delhi Master Plan and permitted 350 FAR, but the Supreme Court is not giving its final nod. We don’t know if we should make payments to avail the regularisation or not,” said a shopkeeper from Defence Colony market requesting anonymity.
Vijay Ishrani, president of Green Park Market Association, said, “Instead of acting as a ‘monitoring’ committee, the SC appointed body is acting as an ‘advisory’ committee. The civic authorities, who were supposed to check the land use violations, failed to perform their duties. Now, attempt is being made to balance the situation in one go by sealing illegal construction of all shops, which is unjustified.”
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation is likely to start sealing drive against 1,500 factories running illegally from residential complexes in Tri Nagar from Tuesday, officials said.
The members of monitoring committee visited the residential area on August 20 and found rampant violation of norms. “We found thousands of small factories and godowns functioning out of residential units, in violation of Delhi Master Plan 2021. We have shared a list of such factories with the North Corporation and sealing will start from Tuesday.”