The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Delhi government and the DDA whether they had conducted any Environment Impact Assessment before proposing amendments to Master Plan 2021 to protect traders from a sealing drive in the capital.
A division bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta directed the Delhi government, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the civic authorities to file an affidavit also indicating whether measures regarding the safety of buildings were considered before proposing amendments.
The bench also asked the authorities to inform if issues like traffic congestion, parking and civic amenities were looked into.
It also sought statistics within a week from the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on pollution levels in Delhi from 2007 onwards.
During the hearing, the bench was told that a court-appointed monitoring committee was obstructed by the legislator and the councillor of Shahdara zone, from doing its duty during the sealing drive in the east Delhi area.
The court issued a showcause notice to Bharatiya Janata Party MLA O.P. Sharma and councillor Gunjan Gupta, asking both to appear before it to explain why contempt of court action be not initiated against them.
It also asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure protection to members of the monitoring committee carrying out sealing in Delhi.
The monitoring committee, set up on March 24, 2006 by the top court, has members like K.J. Rao, former advisor to the Election Commissioner, Bhure Lal, Chairman of the EPCA and Maj Gen. Som Jhingan (Retd).
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition against the sealing drive.
The DDA has recently proposed to finalise amendments to the Delhi Master Plan 2021 to provide immediate relief to traders.
The proposed amendments include increasing Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of local shopping complexes from existing 180 per cent to 300 per cent, regularising agricultural warehouses on 12 metre wide roads, allowing uniform floor area ratio (FAR) across localities and reducing conversion charges.
The sealing drive was being carried out against business establishments using residential areas for commercial purposes without paying conversion charges.