Sealing drives continue in Delhi
The Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee has prevailed over the municipal corporations and sealing drives are being carried out even during the election season. Around a dozen properties were shut down by the civic bodies in various areas during the past few days.
While six properties in Double-Storey MalkaGanj-SabziMandi were shut down on Tuesday, another four were sealed in Vijay Nagar next to Delhi University North Campus on Wednesday. Multiple banquet halls have also been sealed for violations of Master Plan Delhi 2021.
The civic officials had earlier argued that sealing drives should be given a poll break as it might lead to politicisation of the issue.
The SDMC additional commissioner (engineering) had circulated a note dated April 1, 2019 for temporary suspension of sealing and demolition action. The note cited instructions from secretary, Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) claiming no action should be taken which “disrupts one’s livelihood and shelter that may lead to unnecessary politicisation of the matter.”
The monitoring committee in its report had argued that Supreme Court had ordered the sealing drive to continue even during the 2007 MCD elections and citing the model code of conduct was just an excuse to stall the process.
The panel, in its report to the apex court, had recommended that cases that lead to eviction from residential premises be postponed till polls are completed. It requested the court to issue directions to the corporations, NDMC and DDA to carry on with the sealing drive in other cases without any break.
Both MalkaGanj and Vijay Nagar fall under the category of C-type tenements, which also figure in the monitoring committee’s report. The apex court had ordered action against such properties on December 6, 2018, but only partial action was taken. The sealing was carried out for commercial activities being carried out in violation of the lease agreement with L&DO.