High Court unseals 77 basement shops in GK-I

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed the de-sealing of shops in basements,bringing relief to many traders at the upmarket M-Block Market in Greater Kailash I,South Delhi.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 27, 2009 1:00 am

Shopkeepers will have to pay govt,stick to the norms

The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed the de-sealing of shops in basements,bringing relief to many traders at the upmarket M-Block Market in Greater Kailash I,South Delhi.

A Division Bench,led by Justice Mukul Mudgal,directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to de-seal the basements,provided shopowners give an undertaking that they will pay the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and conversion charges for the regularisation of basements.

The MCD has also been directed to formulate,at the earliest,fresh “standard approved building plans” for the market as per the guidelines given by Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Tejendra Khanna at a high-powered meeting in March 2008.

Seventy-seven basement shops in the market were sealed for almost two years following the report of a court commissioner about “illegal constructions in the basements,where some of them were beyond the plot line”. The MCD had found that several illegal basement shops were even extended till the footpath.

The air cleared on the fate of the basements when Khanna learnt that according to Masterplan 2001,the market was all along categorised as a Local Shopping Centre rather than a “residence-cum-shopping centre”.

Taking the cue,the Bench today observed that “since Masterplan 2001 shows the status of the market as a local shopping centre,commercial use is permissible on all floors/covered area,subject to payment of conversion charges.”

“Till the conversion charges for the use of basements are notified by the government,an undertaking or affidavit from the owners concerned may be taken for making payment as eventually demanded by the government authorities for using the basements as commercial space,” the court reiterated the words of Tejendra Khanna.

The DDA had earlier informed Khanna that as per the more recent Masterplan 2021,development norms allow ‘two-and-a-half storeyed constructions’ in the market,which means a full basement and ground floor,and construction upto half of the first floor.

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