Sealing drive set to intensify again in Delhi markets
The drive against unauthorised establishments in local shopping complexes (LSCs) across the Capital is likely to intensify this week as the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee has directed the municipal corporations to expedite the sealing exercise immediately.
In a circular sent to the civic agencies on Friday, the monitoring committee directed local bodies to send a daily compliance report about the sealing drive.
“...The monitoring committee has decided that the LSCs, under the jurisdiction of New Delhi Municipal Council and South, East and North Delhi Municipal Corporation and violating the standard building plan, be sealed immediately,” the circular says.
A south Delhi Municipal Corporation official admitted having received the circular and said the monitoring committee’s directive will be followed.
Delhi’s civic agencies started the drive in LSCs on December 22, sealing at least 51 units in south Delhi’s Defence Colony. These establishments were sealed for using residential properties for commercial purposes, for covering more than the permissible floor area ratio of 180, and non-payment of the “use conversion charge” of a residential property for business. Over the past four months, municipal authorities have sealed illegal units in prominent LSCs such as Sunder Nagar, South Extension-I (D block), Shankar Road Market in New Rajinder Nagar, Green Park Market, Rajouri Garden and Hauz Khas.
But the top court-appointed panel was not happy with the pace of the drive. “We observed that the civic agencies were going slow on the sealing drive the past one month. We have asked the zonal deputy commissioners to co-ordinate with police in advance so that there is enough force to carry out the drive,” said a committee member, who sought not to be named.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s leader of the House, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, said the civic agency may not have sealed any LSC in the past month but that does not mean the drive has slowed down.
“We are targeting violators in residential as well as commercial areas with our limited workforce. We sealed units at major local markets and people are paying use conversion charges,” said Sehrawat, who is also a former south Delhi mayor.
The drive has triggered a wave of protests among traders across the city. To provide relief to these traders, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had approved amendments to the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021, such as allowing a uniform floor area ratio of 350 for shop-cum-residential plots, use of basements to run business and rationalisation of conversion charges in February.
The amendments were stayed by the Supreme Court in March.
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