September 10, 2021 6:46:38 pm
The Delhi High Court Friday directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Delhi Police to remove illegal vendors from Munirka village including the furniture market on a daily basis, if necessary, to ensure that no encroachers return.
“These people are keeping everyone happy. There is a hafta being paid by all of them… the protection money. It does not happen without that,” said the court, while asking the SDMC to keep regular vigil and immediately inform police in case of any encroachment.
The division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said that the SDMC’s executive engineer and SHO of the Kishangarh police station will be personally responsible to ensure compliance with its order. It asked the authorities to file a status report with photographs on the next date.
“It is the bounden duty of the corporation as well as the Delhi Police to ensure there is no hawking or vending undertaken either on the roads or on the pedestrian way in the area in question,” said the court.
It passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the Munirka Village Residents’ Welfare Association, which stated that there was rampant encroachment on public roads and pedestrian paths in and around the village, particularly at Rama market.
The court was told that despite repeated complaints, no action was being taken. The association also told the court that electricity was being illegally used by the vendors by tapping into live wires. BSES Rajdhani Power Limited told the court that it conducted a raid and found three such cases on September 8.
The bench also said it was dissatisfied with the action taken by the power company. “It appears that this is only a window-dressing exercise. Without their connivance, it would not be possible for anyone to regularly tap into the electricity lines illegally in broad daylight,” the court said, while directing the company to ensure that no electricity theft takes place in the area by encroachers.
The SDMC earlier told the court that it has been taking action, but the vendors soon return. The area is a ‘no-hawking no-vending zone’ where no tehbazari licences have been granted, it said.
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