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Rajouri Garden market, with 800 shops, faces sealing

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NEW DELHI: The Rajouri Garden market is going to be the next major commercial establishment in the city to face the heat of the sealing drive.

The monitoring committee appointed by the Supreme Court has directed the west zone of South Delhi Municipal Corporation to initiate action at the market as it is 100% commercialised, though the road has not been notified under the same category in the 2021 master plan.

After meeting the committee on Wednesday, a senior official of the corporation told TOI that they would initiate the process soon and notices would be issued to the traders for the same prior to the sealing drive.

However, the traders’ association pointed out that the road was yet to be notified under the commercial or mixed land category in the master plan as the stretch was part of the 351 roads to be notified for mixed-land use by the government.

According to the order issued by the committee, it has issued the directive after inspecting the area. “You are directed to seal all commercial shops/establishments immediately and forward the compliance report to the monitoring committee,” the order states.

Calling the area a “mess”, the committee demanded that immediate action be taken against the market. “The area has turned into a mess due to mushrooming of commercial establishments. As the road is not notified under the mixed-land or commercial category, all commercial activities are illegal,” it said.

Traders claimed that there were over 800 shops in the market and termed the order “wrong” as the matter of notification of 351 roads was sub judice. Ramesh Khanna, president of the Rajouri Garden market association, pointed out that the government was yet to notify the road and a representation had been submitted to the Supreme Court.

Khanna said the committee and the corporation should wait for the Supreme Court order as the Delhi government had already submitted the proposal for notification of these 351 roads, which include Rajouri Garden. “We are willing to abide by the law but it should be done in a proper way. There is no point of rushing the sealing action before the apex court issues any direction,” he added.

Khanna also claimed that corporation officials had assured them that the sealing action would be initiated only after the court’s order.

However, a senior official of the south corporation said after meeting the committee that they would initiate the process of carrying out the sealing drive soon.

“We will conduct a survey to find out the number of establishments against which the sealing action will be taken and start issuing notices to traders once it is completed,” he pointed out. The traders to be evicted will get time to vacate their shops or move their materials before the sealing drive to avoid any loss, the official added.

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