In December last year, municipal corporations in the city started a sealing drive against business establishments and sealed thousands of small shops for non-payment of conversion charges, encroachment and illegal constructions on the instructions of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. However, the missionary zeal of the civic agencies went kaput when it came to touching 'big fish'.
Despite Supreme Court's orders to not allow sprawling party lawns in the national Capital to host opulent weddings, owners of these lawns are raking in the moolah while babus are looking the other way. Sources said officials take their cut on daily basis to let them violate municipal law and green norms.
What is worse is that majority of these party lawns are run on diesel gensets and cause traffic jams on already busy roads. Since these party lawns do not have proper water connections, groundwater is illegally extracted and tankers could be seen moving in and out. When asked, a senior Delhi Jal Board (DJB) official accepted that it does not supply water to these premises and water is either drawn by using illegally running pump sets or tankers are requisitioned. However, he also said that it will conduct a check to find out that whether these bore wells are registered with the DJB or not.
Motels and party lawns in areas under South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), North Corporation are violating, the laid down norms with impunity while having “additional built-up areas” and are still running without facing any action.
The south Delhi civic body on the direction of SC-appointed Monitoring Committee sealed a wedding venue Ramaya Farm in Chhattarpur for having an “additional built-up area” in violation of norms. But surprisingly not even a single such venue has been sealed by the SDMC for violating the same.
On July 26, East Corporation has also passed a resolution, exempting wedding halls in unauthorised colonies from being sealed. The apathy of the officials and leaders of the municipal corporations in conducting sealing drive against these venues and farm houses is enough to suggest a well entrenched nexus and corruption between them. However, sources in the corporations said that sealing is always done on pick and chose basis and that depends on your reach and the money you have to offer.
There are many such venues across the city are operating in areas at Qutub Minar, MG Road, Arjangarh, Bhati mines, Chattarpur Road and GT Karnal Road.
Many of the farm houses built air-conditioned pandals illegally even outside their premises without inviting any objection from zonal department of the municipal corporation. However, a senior SDMC official said that before conducting any social function, they contact building department of the respective zones and deposit Rs 10,000 per day as a charge. However, he did not deny nexus between zonal officials and organisers.
The official further said that the building department of all the zones conducts sealing on the direction of the SC-appointed Monitoring Committee. “We also take action against these farm houses after any violation come into the notice of the civic body,” he said.
Some of these party lawns and motels allegedly organise lavish social and wedding functions without requisite permission. It happens with the active connivance concerned MCD and Delhi Polices officials. Some of these are; Devam farm, Chhabra farm, Polo farm on Dwarka underpass Road, Belmond motel, Ocean Pearl motel, country inn motel, Opulent motel, Radiance motel, Lyutens Hotel , Nandi Greens , Imperia Hotel , The Vista Hotel , The Claremont Hotel, Lata Greens, Zorba on MG Road , Jhankhar Garden, Pushpanjali at Dwarka Link Road, Satvik by Chabra Farms, Manaktala Farms Kapashera at Najafghar Road , Devam at Samalkha, Lily White , Oodles , Country Inn , Ocean Pearl Gardania , Ocean Pearl Retreat , Opulent , Royal dale , Belmond , Karnation by Kids Kraze ITC Fortune Hotel, Brij Greens by FNP , F & B Flora Farms , Ashoka Avenue, Orchid Palace Farms at Chandan Hola , Rose Garden , Amara Farms at Bhatti Kalan , Bindra Farms at Dera Mandi Road , Divine Farms at Bhati Village, Sanskriti Green , Sanjyog Farms , Shagun Farms by Ferns N Petals , Uttsav, The Nikunj , The Celebrations Banquet & Convention , Udman by Ferns N Petals, Mapple , Orana Hotels & Resorts , The Umarao , Four Points by Sheraton , Dee Marks Hotel And Resorts and The City Park.