19 Establishments in Delhi’s Khan Market Sealed for Violations

The NDMC said that these establishments were committing land use violations, and sealed parts of them off.

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Parts of at least 19 establishments in New Delhi’s upscale Khan Market were sealed on 8 and 9 January in a surprise sealing drive by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Officials from the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) conducted the sealing drive under the order of a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee constituted to identify misuse of land and illegal constructions by establishments.

What Places Were Sealed?

The establishments whose terraces were sealed off include: Sham Di Hatti, Mamagoto, La Bodega, Raghavendra Rathore, Civil House, Chatter House, and Aquamarine on 9 January. NDTV added that Ritu Kumar Fashion Stores, FabIndia, and The Blue Door Cafe had their terraces sealed on 9 January. The Print added that Parallel - Craft & Kitchen Bar & Anita Dongre was also shut.

Establishments that were sealed in parts on 8 January include restaurants Khan Chacha, Smokey's Grill, Wok in the Clouds, Geetanjali salon, Jawed Habib's salon, Affinity, Ayena Skin Clinic, and Amrapali Jewellery store.

Terraces Sealed for “Misuse” of Land

The sealing notice issued to establishments on 8 January states that parts of the establishments were sealed for an alleged “misuse of terrace”.

The sealing order dated 8 January reads that the terraces of establishments being sealed off in parts, are in violation of Section 250 of the NDMC Act. Section 250 authorises the sealing of a property after ordering demolition of or stoppage of construction work on the property.

There is no commercial activity on the terraces. They have generators and water tanks on the terraces of some establishments. But can they issue an order against an establishment if a customer steps out to the terrace to smoke a cigarette? What if an owner steps out onto the terrace? Do these count as commercial use?
Anshu Tandon, President, Khan Market Welfare Association

Most establishments in Khan Market are residential plots which have been converted for commercial use. The owners of the establishments, the Khan Market Trade and Welfare associations maintain, paid a one-time Use Conversion Charge, which allows the usage of the property for commercial purposes.

However, a number of store and restaurant owners in Khan Market told The Quint that there was no clear policy or commercial plan laid down by the NDMC as far as the usage of terraces.

The NDMC doesn’t have a policy on terraces. If they tell us not to go sit on the terrace, we’re happy to do so. But there’s no policy about how we can use terraces. We would like to have a clear policy, and we’re more than happy to comply.
Payal Verma, Owner, The Blue Door Cafe

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