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Delhi HC: 'City held to ransom' by traders

Posted: Feb 12, 2018     By Praveen Dwivedi

Delhi High Court, while hearing matters pertaining to unauthorised construction and encroachment of public land, today observed, “a few people have held the city to ransom”.  The court was referring to the protest by traders on February 2. They had downed shutters in protest against the sealing of commercial establishments running from residential areas.

A bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, also noted: “…By sitting on dharna you can get the master plan changed. Not because it is required, nor checking if the city can handle it. It is done because a few hundred people sit on dharna. The master plan is being amended because the traders have held the city on ransom by pulling down their shutters.”

The HC also asked the government authorities whether an environment impact assessment was conducted before proposing to amend Delhi’s Master Plan 2021.

The drives were launched by MCDs on the direction of the Supreme Court-mandated monitoring committee. In the last two months, civic bodies have sealed more than 3,000 such buildings across the city. This led to massive protests by traders across the city on February 2.

Observing the crisis, the DDA proposed to amend the master plan by providing uniform FAR [floor area ratio] for shop-cum-residence plots or complexes, bringing it at par with properties on mixed-use land or street. FAR is the ration of a building’s total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land on which it is built.

The issue soon became a political debate and a raging controversy.

TAGS: HC / February 2 / Traders / Encroachment / FAR / Sealing Drive