Delhi

Eight establishments sealed partially in Khan Market

Police personnel at Khan Market during the sealing drive on Monday.

Police personnel at Khan Market during the sealing drive on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

NDMC conducts sealing drive on orders of SC-appointed monitoring committee

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), on the orders of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, conducted a sealing drive at the posh Khan Market on Monday.

Unauthorised sections of eight establishments, including eateries, salons and jewellery stores, that had expanded operations to rooftops and balconies were sealed partially by NDMC officials.

‘Illegal construction’

These establishments affected are Khan Chacha, Smokey’s BBQ and Grill , Wok in The Clouds, Jawed Habib Hair and Beauty salon, Affinity salon, Geetanjali Salon, Aayna Skin Clinic and Amrapali Jewels.

“Shops on the first and second floors are being inspected for unauthorised construction. If shops are found keeping sofas or chairs on balconies or on rooftops, such areas are being sealed due the prospect of them being used for commercial purposes,” said Khan Market Traders’ Association senior vice-president Brij Gopal Khosla.

However, Khan Market Traders’ Association president Sanjiv Mehra said the sealing was done on unfair grounds as no commercial activities were being carried out in these shops and the space was being used solely for the purpose of storage.

“The NDMC has prohibited the use of any extra covered area in shops. Now that the space used for storing air conditioner units and generators has been sealed, it cannot be accessed in case any issue with the machines. We will try to approach the NDMC chief to resolve this issue,” Mr. Mehra added.

“We conducted an inspection drive in the market and sealed portions of eight major establishments found violating construction norms. Another sealing drive will be conducted on Tuesday,” a senior NDMC official said.

‘No clarification’

Affinity salon owner Vishal Sharma said the grounds on which the terrace of his salon was sealed was not clarified during inspection.

“I am surprised by the accusation of misuse of the terrace. At a salon, we cannot use the terrace for any commercial purpose whatsoever. Our water tanks and generators are installed on the terrace and now we cannot access them in case of an emergency,” he said.

Stating that such drives are necessary to ensure the safety of visitors, shopper Shamin Varadarajan said, “The cafés and restaurants opened on the second and third floors are extremely unsafe. There are no emergency exits and the staircases are extremely narrow. Hence, action must be taken against such places.”

‘Safety of people’

Another shopper Revanta Dasgupta added, “In a place like Khan Market, which has narrow lanes and exposed wiring everywhere, accidents are bound to happen. The market attracts a huge crowd and such measures need to be taken to ensure the safety of people.”

Though the monitoring committee had given a breather to commercial establishment owners who are yet to pay conversion charges, drives against unauthorised constructions are still on. Similar sealing drives have been conducted in Defence Colony, Chattarpur and east Delhi markets.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 8:43:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/eight-establishments-sealed-partially-in-khan-market/article22400244.ece

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