THE DELHI High Court has said it is “baffling” how the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has permitted a whole row of houses to come up in the vicinity of Qutub Minar, and has asked the DCP of the area to file a status report explaining how “large-scale construction” was permitted in the area despite the strict vigil of police. The HC has also requested the Delhi government to look into the matter.
“All these structures are in the vicinity of the Qutub Minar, and it is imperative that the ambience of the area be maintained, especially in view of the strict prohibited and regulated zones regarding construction near protected monuments. Has the ASI been consulted? Interestingly, the photographs annexed to the ATR show multi-storey buildings being constructed,” Justice Najmi Waziri said in an order.
The observation was made by the court after seeing an Action Taken Report submitted by the SDMC, which showed demolition of some structures in the area. While the SDMC described it as “appropriate action” against unauthorised construction, the court noted that the “isolated punctures” in walls or roofs are insufficient.
“If the structure is illegal, it would have to be brought down,” the court said in the order passed in a petition seeking action against officials for allowing illegal constructions at Mehrauli.
Rinku Kaushik in a petition filed in 2018 had alleged that a “vast illegal and unauthorised colony” was being developed on government land adjoining Qutub Minar and “six storeyed and above height buildings are being constructed there”.
In April 2019, SDMC had informed the court that nine properties out of the 23 mentioned in Kaushik’s representations have been identified. In September 2019, the municipal body submitted action has been taken gainst the properties identified by it.
The case has been listed for hearing next on December 15.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines