Deal with industries in residential areas: HC to NMC

| | New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to "deal with" 6,000 industrial units operating in residential areas under its jurisdiction in violation of judicial orders.

While issuing the direction, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the huge volume of unauthorised units shows the extent of the corporation's "negligence" and its "failure" to do its duty.

The bench said despite information on these industries being furnished to the corporation by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC) and the court's July 6 order to carry out a fresh zone-wise inquiry into the units, it had failed to do so.

The court said this prime facie suggests the corporation's "complicity in the illegal activities carried out by the industrial units".

It further said the corporation's officials were also violating the Supreme Court's 2004 direction to relocate such units to industrial areas and to disconnect water and power supplies to industries which did not comply with the directive.

The apex court in its 2004 order had said all units which came up after August 1, 1990, were to be relocated within four months, the court said.

The corporation in its defence said since April 2016 it had closed down 385 units and added that action had not been taken against several industries as they were non-polluting.

The DSIIDC told the court it had cancelled land given to the 6000 units for relocating from where they were currently operating as they had not moved to the new plots.

It said information about these units had been shared with the corporation. Taking note of the DSIIDC's submission, the bench said, "Therefore, these 6000 industries are running in non- conforming areas with impunity."

The bench directed the corporation to at first "deal with" the 6,000 units whose land allocation had been cancelled and file an affidavit before the next date of hearing on September 22. "We want compliance. We want you to act," the court said.

It had earlier also expressed its displeasure over the presence of industries in the residential areas here and referred to the "failure" of the authorities to relocate them to designated sites on the outskirts of the city.

The bench had said in its July 6 order that such industrial areas were set up by the government at a huge cost to the public exchequer.

It had said not shifting the units to industrial areas was not only contempt of the apex court's orders, but also punishable under the Delhi Municipal Corporations Act, IPC and the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court was hearing a PIL on the issue of running of industrial units in residential areas in north Delhi.



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