Congress demands to halt 'illegal' sealing drive in Delhi

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Thursday made a presentation before the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, raising the demand for halting the ongoing sealing of illegal commercial establishments in the city.

Congress demands to halt 'illegal' sealing drive in Delhi

New Delhi: Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Thursday made a presentation before the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, raising the demand for halting the ongoing sealing of illegal commercial establishments in the city.

Maken said the sealing drive was "illegal" and quoted the law and the Delhi Master Plan 2021 to support his claim.

"We are hopeful that no sealing in Special Areas and Village Abadi areas of Delhi will take place," he said after the meeting with the monitoring committee members.

On Tuesday, Maken had sought an appointment with the committee to present his legal stand for halting the sealing drive.

Maken had said he may approach the Supreme Court if needed be. "If the monitoring committee does not listen to me, I will move the Supreme Court to make my submissions."

Several commercial establishments in Delhi have been sealed by BJP-ruled civic bodies for failing to deposit conversion charges according to provisions in the master plan.

Maken said additional floor-area-ratio and basements should be allowed to be used for commercial purposes in 'local shopping centres', without the owners having to pay conversion charges because there was provision in the law for it.

Sealing cannot happen in markets that existed before 1962, including Chandni Chowk, Paharganj, Shahdara Town and Sadar Bazar, because the law permits them to use their premises for commercial use without any documentary proof, he claimed.

His comments came a day after Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Delhi Development Authority was in the process of amending the master plan to provide relief to the traders affected by the sealing drive.

Puri said his ministry has proposed amendments to the master plan, which would be taken up by the DDA on February 2.

The traders in the city have decided to hold a two-day 'Delhi Bandh' from tomorrow in protest against the drive. 

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