After complaints that traders at local shopping centres (LSCs) were being sent sealing notices by civic body officials, the standing committee of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation passed a resolution that LSCs and shops that are under its jurisdiction will not be sealed over non-payment of conversion charges.
Leader of the House Narendra Chawla said there were complaints that people who had purchased shops under a commercial arrangement were being sent notices over non-payment of conversion charges. “The civic body passed the resolution so there is no fear of sealing in their minds,” he said.
Property owners have to pay conversion charges to MCDs if the status of the area in which they are located changes from residential to commercial. There are 56 commercial shopping centres in South Delhi with hundreds of shops.
Vishal Ohri, general secretary of LSCs Federation of Delhi, said, “Several local shopping centre owners have got notices that their properties would be sealed if they do not pay conversion and parking charges.”
This despite an amendment by the Delhi Development Authority in the 2021 Master Plan which states that local and commercial shopping centres, as well as shop plots, that are in the commercial use category are not liable to pay conversion and parking charges, he said.
President of the association Rajesh Goyal pointed out that the notices also mention paying for floor area ratio for excess coverage to get their buildings regularised. “While owners are ready to pay, they (MCD) are not ready to accept it unless we pay conversion charges as well,” he said.
Said Chawla, “We will discuss this with officials so that unnecessary trouble is not caused to traders.”
Member of the standing committee Shikha Rai, who had moved the resolution in the committee meeting, said though the issue was taken up in a house meeting in 2019, there were reports of sealing notices being sent out. “So, we decided to reassure traders that their properties would not be sealed,” said Rai.
Hundreds of properties across Delhi were sealed for violations following a drive over the past few years in markets such as Defence Colony, GK 1 M Block, Sunder Nagar and Rajouri Garden.
“When governments across the world are trying to increase investments, traders are being harassed through notices. We hope this will stop now,” said Goyal.
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