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Delhi, Sealing and the Issue of Encroachment

Delhi Sealing
Santosh Sinha
As per the recent development amid the ongoing sealing drive in Delhi, the representatives from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and members of Delhi Congress, led by DPCC chief Ajay Maken formed an all-party delegation that will meet the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee to seek a solution to problems posed by an ongoing sealing drive. Both the parties, through a press conference, assured the traders associations that they will jointly raise the sealing issue in Parliament.  

What is this sealing issue and why it has created this ruckus that even political rivals are giving joint statements!  Simply put, it is a drive to make the city of Delhi encroachment-free. It is being conducted as per the order from the Supreme Court by the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee.

Encroachment has been one of the biggest issues that a city administration faces while executing its Master Plan. The Rani Jhansi Flyover project in Delhi is one of the best examples as it has missed multiple deadlines because of land encroachment issues. There has been a 10-year delay in the project leading to a three-time cost escalation. Ironically, some of the biggest encroachers across India are the religious statues.

Citing one of the most interesting recommendations by the Delhi High Court to airlift the 108 ft Hanuman statue to ease out encroachment from Karol Bagh, Vijay Kumar Gautam, Director (enforcement), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), said that religious structures are a dicey matter, but the law comes first. A 2016 report by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) stated that roadside parking and encroachments as the primary cause of congestion and severe traffic problems on Delhi’s internal roads.

The ongoing sealing drive in Delhi also addresses the problem of encroachment only. However, as it involves the traders who, eventually, are one of the biggest vote bank as well as the source of funds for the political parties, the sealing drive has taken the political route.

Encroachment is a menace for any city as it creates hurdles in the development process. It causes traffic jams, thereby, causing huge loss to the government as well as the commoners and the environment. It also flourishes an unorganised eco-system where it becomes difficult to track the fund transactions and levy taxes as most of the deals happen in cash. Apparently, these black money are often used to fund illegal activities. All in all, the traders and the political parties should put law before anything else and follow the law of the land.

A communication professional with more than 12 years of experience in real estate domain,Santosh Sinha has observed minutely every move of the sector so far. A strategist by profession, a writer by nature, Santosh Sinha loves to pen his thoughts, thereby allowing his readers to understand the nitty-gritties of Real Estate and get benefit out of it.

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