DELHI SEALING DRIVE: A STEP TOWARDS DE-CLUTTERING LIVES AND REDUCING POLLUTION

By Team Lawclik

While 40 lakh Delhi denizens and their livelihoods will be impacted by the Supreme Court’s recent decision to initiate a sealing drive, the city can expect major positive changes in the times to come. Not only will it ease off cloistered roads and reduce traffic snarls in the Capital, but ambient air and noise pollution are also expected to scale down. 

Initiated in December 2017, the sealing drive entails shutting down of commercial establishments for a variety of reasons. These include failure to pay conversion charges according to the provisions in the Delhi Master Plan 2021, encroaching the public land, operating from residential areas and carrying out illegal constructions. Civic bodies like North, South, and East Delhi Municipal corporations are conducting this drive under the umbrella of an SC appointed committee.

The history of sealing in Delhi is more than a decade old. The Delhi High Court ordered sealing of unauthorized buildings way back in February 2006, which led to massive protests and violence. A month later, in March 2006, SC also ordered the sealing of all illegal structures in the national capital. The central government promulgated a law, which stipulated some amendments to the Master Plan 2021, paving the way for commercial establishments to function. The amendments allowed for a mixed land use policy, wherein both commercial and residential establishments can function concurrently, although with some restrictions.

The sealing drive will usher a slew positive measures like creating more space for traffic and pedestrian movements and easing the pressure on the water table and drainage systems, as unabated economic activity in heavily congested areas put undue pressure on them. It will ensure a safer use of building premises for commercial purposes, and will not only protect the life and property of people working in them, but also that of their customers and other visitors. On top of all this, this drive is about establishing the rule of law. A country wherein well-established rules and regulations are rampantly flouted can’t provide a suitable environment for its citizens to flourish and realize their true potential.

Lawclik believes that the sealing drive is the right step in the right direction but the state and central governments should take remedial measures to mitigate its impact on those affected by it. The premises of traders who have already paid conversion charges as per the Delhi Master Plan 2021 shouldn’t be sealed, and adequate compensation should be paid to the affected traders so that they could restart their business at the earliest. In line with this, Lawclik offers affordable legal services to traders. Feel free to visit www.lawclik.com to get best legal advice online, documents drafted and reviewed, and hire a lawyer for court appearances.