Cops told to show restraint after shopkeepers lathicharged in Lajpat Nagar.
New Delhi: A day after the sealing drive, which is being carried out on the direction of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, turned violent in Lajpat Nagar, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought a report on the incident.
A well-placed source told this newspaper that the PMO has sought repo-rt from the lieutenant-governor (L-G). During the sealing drive in Amar Colony, the Delhi police reportedly used force against shopkeepers in a bid to seal their commercial establishments.
Sources claimed that the PMO is unhappy with the violent turn of sealing drive, which started in December last year, and directed the city administration to restrain itself from using force.
After the PMO sought report on the incident, the L-G directed the officials to submit the same to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).
The SDMC on Saturday released a statement mentioning the reason of the recent sealing action in Lajpat Nagar market in which 350 shops have been sealed on Thursday.
“The committee carried out an inspection of the Old Double Storey in Lajpat Nagar IV (popularly known as Suit Market) and its vicinity, on March 6, and noticed large scale encroachments by the occupants, both in front as well as in the back,” the SDMC said.
The Old Double Storey was developed and constructed by the land and development office of ministry of rehabilitation in the 1950s and allotted it to the displaced persons after partition.
According to the SDMC, the said common space, which was actually meant for the movement of the pedestrians and various other community services, has been infringed by the occupants, both in the front and the rear.
“Large scale alterations or additions have been made by way of permanent and semi-permanent structures in flagrant violation of law and thereby usurping invaluable public land. The occupants have even constructed without authorisation upto four floors,” the statement added.
The SDMC claimed that since the encroachments were extending upto four floors and were huge in nature, it was not possible by the enforcement team to remove the structures from public land. Therefore, on the directions of the monitoring committee, the properties were sealed.
“The business establishments have been on the radar of the empowered committee for a number of reasons, including un-authorised construction of offices and rooms at different floors; the ongoing commercial activities at the basement and stilt parking areas; non-payment of conversion charges; and encroachment,” said the SDMC.