Courts Update Delhi High Court asks authorities to enforce no-squatting policy...

Delhi High Court asks authorities to enforce no-squatting policy in Nehru Place market

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New Delhi Aug 14(ILNS): The Delhi High Court on Friday took a suo motu cognizance regarding lack of cleanliness and presence of encroachment in Nehru Place which restricted the movement of the fire tenders to douse the blaze.

The Division Bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh asked the authorities to hold a joint meeting to remove the vendors under the no-squatting policy.

It is directed by the Court that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), and the city police will file a status report on the matter. The court directed that regular drives will be conducted in the Nehru Place area by the SDMC and the Delhi police, along with the assistance of the local SHO, so that the vendors, once removed, do not return.

Due to a short circuit in an electric board, a fire had broken out on Thursday, inside the showroom on the first floor of a multi-story building in southeast Delhi’s Nehru Place following which six fire tenders were rushed to the spot to bring the flame under control.

The court observed while taking note of a video of the fire, that the fire engine struggled a lot to reach the spot due to the presence of hawkers.

Advocate Sanjay Lao, standing counsel (criminal) of the Delhi government, informed the court that many vendors are covered by stay orders of the court, allowing them to squat in the area.

DDA counsel Arjun Pant submitted that the area is under MCD and the agency would look into the matter.

Moreover, Advocate Divya Prakash Pande, appearing for SDMC, argued that the PWD is carrying out construction work in the area and hence should be impleaded as a party.

While considering the submission the court asked the authorities to sit together and solve the issue, while also asking them to file status reports on the no-hawking and no-vending policies, and the steps that can be taken to stop illegal occupation on the roads. The bench also issued notice to the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Delhi government, seeking clarification on their role in the construction work at the Nehru place area. The court posted the matter for further hearing on August 24./ILNS/SS/SNG

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