The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s ongoing sealing drive undertaken over non-deposition of conversion charges seems to have paid off with a number of defaulters coming forward to clear their dues across its 12 zones.

According to the civic body records, a total of Rs. 728.27 crore has been collected to date in conversion charges since 2006 when the sealing drive first began.

The drive has been launched against those traders who have not paid the due conversion charges to the MCD for commercial use of residential properties on the 2,538 notified road stretches in the Capital as mandated by the Master Plan for Delhi-2021.

Many zones also had to defer the sealing drive earlier last week as traders queued up in large numbers to deposit their conversion charges. While the MCD had received around Rs.155 crore till December 2009, over one lakh traders were yet to make the payment in the beginning of this year.

An MCD zonal official said: “The threat of their properties being sealed has forced many traders to come up and register their properties and those who have already registered their properties to pay up the due conversion charges.”

In Central zone alone, a sum of over Rs.20 crore has been collected so far. While in the month of February, Central zone received Rs.12 crore, it has received Rs.8.90 crore in the past 10 days alone.

According to sources, over 2,000 people in Central zone including defaulters as well as new registrations have come up till now to pay their due amount. The Central zone includes areas like Greater Kailash Part-I, Lajpat Nagar,East of Kailash, South Extension and Bhogal.

The Paharganj zone and South zone offices of the MCD have both collected about Rs.2.5 crore each in the past one month as due conversion charges. Over 800 traders have applied for registration of their properties in Paharganj zone.

While Rohini zone is yet to assimilate data regarding collection and registration, West zone will initiate the sealing drive next week.

According to MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur, while the sealing drive has been successful in reining in a large number of defaulters, the civic body is in no mood to relent and discontinue the drive just yet.

“About 500 properties have been sealed by us in the past one year of which about 480 properties have also been subsequently de-sealed following deposition of conversion charges by the defaulters. But we would be continuing with the ongoing drive and mounting it further with special focus on targeting the big fish including huge showrooms and shops in posh colonies and market places falling on the notified road stretches,” he said.

“These high-profile properties would be targeted on a priority basis in the next phase of the drive as they are the major defaulters who despite having ample resources at their disposal are still not coming forward to deposit their conversion charges.”

Mr. Mathur said: “As per our broad policy on sealing, the thrust would remain on issuing maximum notification where we give the defaulters a 48-hour notice to pay up before finally going ahead with the sealing. We want to make maximum number of defaulters fall in line through issuance of notices and keeping sealing as the last resort.”

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