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Court orders survey in CP’s service lanes

The demolition drive in the Capital is surely going hi-tech and the latest aid in spotting illegal constructions is the ‘eye in the sky’ — Google Earth, reports Harish V Nair.
Hindustan Times | By Harish V. Nair, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2007 02:48 AM IST

The demolition drive in the Capital is surely going hi-tech and the latest aid in spotting illegal constructions is the ‘eye in the sky’ — Google Earth.

The Delhi High Court has asked NDMC to demolish encroachments numbering more than 200 on the service lanes in the ‘Outer’, ‘Middle’ and ‘Inner’ Circle shown in a satellite image of Connaught Place.

The map was submitted as evidence for the first time by Court Commissioner for NDMC area, Puskhar Sood, after an inspection of the area. “These lanes are in fact parking bays for shopkeepers but they have been rampantly encroached upon,” Sood told the bench of Chief Justice M.K. Sharma and Justice Rekha Sharma.

The judges directed NDMC to first carry out an extensive survey of the entire service lane to determine the extent of encroachment. The drive comes on the heels of the removal of unauthorised shops in the basement of buildings in CP. Sood also brought to the court’s attention the encroachments in the road in the form of flower beds and planting areas in Bappa Nagar behind the Delhi High Court. He said these were affecting the smooth flow of traffic on the road.

GK banks under scanner

Residents of posh Greater Kailash have approached the court complaining against the nuisance posed by 11 banks in the M Block residential area. “The residents are unable to use the main road due to traffic jams caused by vehicles parked outside the banks,” submitted their lawyer. He said the banks allow over 50 vehicles to park in spaces authorized to hold only 10 cars at a time.

The judges directed the DDA to “verify all the premises to see whether they are in compliance with requirement set out in the Master Plan” within the next three weeks. The police have also been directed to make sure that there is no impediment to traffic in the area”.

The RWA petition said like the HDFC, Standard Chartered Bank, Punjab National Bank, ICICI, State Bank of India, among six other financial institutions, operating in the “strictly” residential area. DDA counsel Ajay Verma contended that Master Plan 2021 did allow mixed use of land, especially in the case of banks located in residential areas.

Kalkaji jhuggis to go

The court also ordered the demolition of 1,000 jhuggis in PT Block in Kalkaji. Representing the residents of the area, counsel Anup Bagai submitted to the court that the slum cluster was a security threat and also the settlers there were encroaching the roads by setting up small shops. The court asked the DDA to immediately remove the cluster and relocate the people within six weeks.

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