MCD at SC door for relief from sealing

The MCD moves the Supreme Court, seeking its urgent intervention to defer the sealing drive, reports Satya Prakash and Vibha Sharma.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2007 02:38 IST

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has defied the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee’s February 6 direction to carry out sealing along the 2,183 roads notified for mixed land use in September last year.

Instead, the MCD on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court, seeking its urgent intervention to defer the sealing drive along the roads notified on September 7 and 15, 2006 for commercial use .

The MCD’s move follows Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy’s statement on Tuesday that there would be no sealing in Delhi.

The Master Plan for Delhi 2021 was notified late on Wednesday night.

In an application, filed through counsel Sanjiv Sen, the MCD said all the 2,183 roads had been incorporated in the Master Plan 2021 as commercial, mixed land use and pedestrian shopping streets.

The civic agency also argued that on February 2 — when the Solicitor General had submitted that the Master Plan would be notified in a week — the apex court had adjourned till February 20 all matters pertaining to sealing so that the pending issues may be examined in the light of the new Master Plan.

The MCD’s application is likely to be mentioned before the court for urgent hearing on Thursday.

The Monitoring Committee has also filed two reports before the court. It is understood to have informed the court about the MCD’s non-compliance of its directions on sealing.

The Centre and the MCD had earlier filed separate applications in the court, seeking to defer the sealing drive in the light of the new Master Plan, which proposes liberal mixed land use. Dismissing both the applications, the court had sought background papers of the Master Plan. The court also warned the government against politicising the sealing issue.

On Tuesday, the Monitoring Committee directed the MCD to resume the sealing drive against all those traders on the 2,183 notified roads who had filed affidavits promising to shut their premises by June 30, 2006, but failed to keep their word.

More than 6,700 establishments along the notified roads are in the line of fire. The owners of these shops were granted another opportunity in November last year to keep their promise.

However, of the 25,000 traders who were required to down their shutters, only 18,643 had complied.

The Monitoring Committee is of the view that the traders who have once committed to close down their shops enjoy no relief under the amended Master Plan 2001 or the Master Plan 2021.

The apex court had given the traders yet another chance to submit affidavits before the Monitoring Committee by January 31, 2007.

The traders were asked to give an undertaking that they would abide by the court’s final order on the September 2006 notifications. But this time, less than 50 per cent of the traders filed affidavits. The court will decide on their fate on February 20.

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First Published: Feb 08, 2007 02:38 IST