HC asks Delhi Police, NrDMC to explain presence of vendors in no-hawking zone in Chandni Chowk

  • | Monday | 20th September, 2021

New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday asked the police and NrDMC to explain how vending and hawking activities are being allowed despite ban in the Chandni Chowk area, which is undergoing redevelopment.The court also issued notice and asked the Delhi Police and NrDMC to respond to a plea filed by Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal seeking direction against a survey being conducted by the Town Vending Committee (TVC) in no-hawking/ no-squatting areas in Chandni Chowk, Subhash Marg and other prohibited areas of City- Sadar Paharganj Zone.A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh directed that while conducting the survey, the TVC shall make a distinction and take a note of hawkers who are occupying spaces in no-hawking or no-vending zones.“You continue with the survey but take into account the objections raised by the petitioners. Your survey should clearly say that these are the street vendors who are sitting in hawking zone and these are the ones who are in the no-hawking or no vending zone,” the bench said.The court asked the authorities to file their replies to the plea and listed the matter for further hearing on November 10.It also asked North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) to place on record the scheme relating to no-hawking and no-squatting areas.Delhi Police was represented through additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal in the matter.Senior advocate Sanjeev Ralli, representing Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, submitted that the high court had repeatedly passed orders that in no hawking and no vending zones, there shall not be any encroachment. Despite that, hawkers and vendors are sitting there and now TVC is conducting a survey, he said.“The survey team members are taking unauthorised cognisance of the presence of illegal hawkers and squatters in Chandni Chowk and Subhash Marg who are sitting and operating from the no-hawking/ no-squatting areas notified by North DMC in City SP Zone.“Rather, above unauthorised, highly arbitrary and motivated practice adopted by the survey team members also establishes that at present illegal hawkers and squatters are being permitted to sit and operate in no-hawking / no-squatting areas (with concurrence of survey teams) by North DMC and Delhi Police in spite of various restraint / prohibitory orders passed earlier by this court,” the plea, filed through Mohit Mudgal and Shivani Rautela, said.The plea sought direction to the Deputy Commissioner of NrDMC to ensure that no notice or cognisance is taken by the survey teams of TVC of the illegal hawkers operating from no-hawking areas of Chandni Chowk, Subhash Marg and other such areas notified by NrDMC in City SP Zone.It also directions seeking explanation from the concerned Deputy Commissioner of City SP Zone, DCP North and SHO of Kotwali and Lahori Gate police stations for their alleged failure to ensure that the no-hawking and squatting areas remain encroachment free.On installation of 330 CCTVs in the entire area, Ralli submitted that despite the court’s direction not even a single CCTV has been installed till now.On September 12, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the redeveloped Chandni Chowk market. In the redevelopment project, the 1.3km-long stretch of the main Chandni Chowk Road, from Lal Qila to Fatehpuri Masjid Road has been improved and beautified. PTI SKV SA

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