The crackdown against unauthorized construction in the national capital reached the posh Khan Market on Monday with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) sealing the terraces and open spaces of eight major establishments, including salons and restaurants.
The traders' associations cried foul, saying they were not given prior notice if any violations were found at their end.
The action comes following an order by a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee asking the NDMC to seal commercial establishments in Khan Market for alleged violation of provisions of the 2021 Master Plan and non-payment of user conversion charges.
"We conducted an inspection drive in the market today and sealed portions of eight major establishments which were found violating the construction norms. Another sealing drive will be conducted tomorrow," a senior NDMC official told PTI.
Among the establishments which have been sealed during the drive include restaurants Khan Chacha and Smokey's Grill, salons Geetanjali, Javaed Habib's and Affinity, Ayena Skin Clinic and Amrapali Jewellery store.
Sanjeev Mehra, president of Khan Market Traders' Association said, "A misconception has been created that traders in Khan Market are not paying conversion charges. We are operating in an elite market and believe in abiding by norms. The sealing drive will also impact our image".
"If at all violations were found, notices could have been sent first to rectify them and action taken later. We will speak to the chairman about this," he said.
Vishal Sharma, the owner of Affinity Salon also said that they were not given any notice before the sealing action.
Smokey's Grill's representatives said they were asked to remove all things including the generator from the rooftop area.
"There was a tin shed covering our terrace area which was sealed by the NDMC," a Khan Chacha representative said on the condition of anonymity.
The monitoring committee has directed the civic bodies to collect use conversion charges from all 106 local shopping complexes in the city by January 15 failing which the markets will be sealed.
Use conversion charges are levied for misuse of land. If the land use of a particular plot is for residential purpose, the owners are liable to pay the user conversion charges to convert the plot into a commercial one.