Staff Reporter

Ministry not happy with civic body's interpretation of the Act

MCD acts on the opinion of Additional Solicitor-GeneralInterestingly, the MCD circular does not ask either the farmhouse or banquet hall owners to submit an affidavit

NEW DELHI: Though the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Friday gave the go-ahead to all sealed farmhouses to hold marriages and other functions, sources said senior officials in the Union Urban Development Ministry were not amused with the civic body's interpretation of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, on which basis relaxation has been given to farmhouses.

Acting on the opinion of the Additional Solicitor-General, the MCD decided to de-seal those farmhouses and banquet halls that have been un-authorisedly developed or misused prior to January 1, 2006, since these are "entitled to the protection of Section 3 of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006". Subsequently, the MCD asked all its 12 Deputy Commissioners to start the de-sealing process. While several banquet halls have already been de-sealed after their owners gave affidavits to the MCD, farmhouses remained closed as per the High Court order.

Interestingly, the MCD circular does not ask either the farmhouse or banquet hall owners to submit an affidavit. There is also no restriction on holding marriages and other functions. Following the High Court order, the MCD had sealed more than 60 farmhouses across the Capital that were holding social functions without following the guidelines.

Section 3 of the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, states: Notwithstanding anything contained in any relevant law or any rules, regulations or bye-laws made there under, the Central Government shall within a period of one year of the coming into effect of this Act, take all possible measures to finalise norms, policy guidelines and feasible strategies to deal with the problem of unauthorised development with regard to the under-mentioned categories, namely -- (a) mixed land use not conforming to the Master Plan; (b) construction beyond sanctioned plans; and (c) encroachment by slum and jhuggi-jhonpri dwellers and hawkers and street vendors -- so that the development of Delhi takes place in a sustainable and planned manner.

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