oppn parties Sealing Issue in Delhi: Civic Bodies Never Learn

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Sealing Issue in Delhi: Civic Bodies Never Learn

By Slogger

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Holding an extreme view and carting the ball out of the park is what interests him most. He is a hard hitter at all times. Fasten your seatbelts and read.
Despite it being on the orders of the Supreme Court, the sealing of commercial premises that is going on in Delhi is not the correct response to burgeoning commercial establishments in residential areas in Indian cities. For, unplanned urban growth is a stark reality in India, aided by lax civic rules, a corrupt bureaucracy and the penchant of politicians to overlook deviation from building rules by regularizing it with fines and penalties. The problem is not unique to Delhi and all Indian cities and towns suffer from it. Still, it is unfair to seal establishments that have been running for decades.

With cities expanding at express speed, civic officials neither have the resources nor the will to keep a check on all construction activities. It is no secret that whenever they do carry out surveys at ongoing construction work, it is more to fleece the promoter for hush money than to enforce the rules. Civic officials will themselves suggest ways to ‘regularize’ the illegal part - for a fee of course that will include both the official part for penalties and fines and an unofficial part for services rendered. Hence, unless the civic bodies set their own houses in order, the sealing drives are nothing but an attempt to cover up their own shortcomings.

With the number of taxes civic bodies impose on citizens, Indian towns and cities are veritable treasure pots. It is only ineffective collection system and rampant corruption that keeps these bodies perennially short of funds. There is no harm in allowing small shops catering to the daily needs of the residents in residential localities, for otherwise they would have to commute long distances for basic requirements. This confusion over change in character of premises and the consequent sealing drama has been going on for long. A permanent solution must be devised and presented before the Supreme Court to end it once and for all. There should be no politics over something that is basically a legal problem being monitored by the Supreme Court.