Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has welcomed the Delhi High Court order staying implementation of its judgement dated October 16 directing the civic body to close down all illegal dhabas in its area within 30 days.

The High Court had given these directions while hearing a petition filed by dhaba owner Rajiv Tyagi wherein he had alleged that MCD was adopting a “pick and choose” policy while taking action against illegal dhabas situated in East Delhi.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Standing Committee chairman Vijender Gupta said the stay order had come as a big relief to the poor and deprived sections of society who depend on the low cost food provided by these dhabas for their daily feed. Mr. Gupta said: “Keeping in view the logistic problems, the MCD had decided to file an appeal to review the directions of the High Court to close illegal dhabas within 30 days. We are satisfied with the stay order issued in this matter and we welcome it as it is in the interest of the poor and justifies the stand taken by the MCD in public interest.”

“Our writ petition filed against Mr.Tyagi in the matter of contempt of court has also been admitted in court and the next hearing in this case would take place on December 10,” he added.

The Chairman said that MCD was concerned about the necessity to ensure clean and hygienic food to the poor and deprived sections of society as per law. He also informed that about 20,000 dhabas were being run under areas falling in 12 zones of MCD.

Weaker sections

According to Mr. Gupta, there are nearly 20,000 dhabas situated near colonies inhabited by the weaker sections of society, bus terminals, railway stations, commercial areas, unauthorised colonies and unauthorised regularised colonies which provide food round the clock to nearly 25 lakh people.

“Of these people, the majority are rickshaw pullers, labourers and unemployed youths,” he added.