Staff Reporter

MCD squads go from pillar to post targeting 60 commercial properties

NEW DELHI: After being reprimanded by the Supreme Court for not carrying out its orders on the sealing issue, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Wednesday resumed its drive in the Capital targeting more than 60 illegal commercial establishments on roads falling under mixed land use category. The exercise that was resumed after a gap of two months remained a low-key affair as MCD squads were confused over the status of the properties and did not have in hand any proper survey of roads or details about illegal commercial activities being carried out on them. The squads were seen visiting one property after another looking for building by-laws violations. A large number of residents protested against the MCD method, alleging breach of their privacy.

While 36 shops were sealed in Krishna Nagar and another 18 on the stretch between Hostel Road and Sheikh Sarai in South Zone, seven shops were targeted at Wazirabad village in Civil Lines Zone.

Barring some protests in Wazirabad where the police detained four persons, the sealing exercise carried out amid heavy police and paramilitary personnel deployment remained peaceful.

In Malviya Nagar, the MCD squads could begin their drive only towards late afternoon because of lack of adequate security. Apart from an advertising agency and an art gallery, the offices of a private insurance company and a professional institution were targeted.

Similarly in Africa Avenue, the MCD squad first visited properties sealed earlier to check if any seal had been broken. Then it searched the basements and other floors of various properties to detect if any illegal commercial activity was going on. It was only towards evening when the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee members visited the area that the sealing exercise could begin under their supervision.

A total of three-dozen properties were sealed in the area.

In Wazirabad, tension prevailed in the morning soon after the sealing action began. Local residents gathered in the area and started shouting slogans against the Delhi Government and the MCD, demanding an immediate end to the drive.

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