While ceiling-drive is on in Delhi on private properties for unauthorised use of residential private properties for commercial purposes, but encroachers are allowed for open loot of prime public land for hawking. Undoubtedly large-scale commercialisation of residential properties also through unauthorised basements and extra floors disturb planned development of national capital. But how far is it logical to allow looters of prime public land by law-breaking encroachers for hawking and otherwise. Only recently a drive made prime Subhash Marg opposite Red Fort in Delhi free of encroachers. But these encroachers in turn immediately looted nearby open space and parks in vicinity of Meena Bazar and Subhash Maidaan car-parking. A road connecting Subhash Marg and Ramchandra Dehlvi Marg between Subhash Maidaan and New Lajpatrai Market was freed from encroached structures some time back. But encroachers have re-built the demolished shops made of tin-structures.
Irony is that while law is strictly enforced against owners of private properties, looters of public-land are given protection. Even nothing is done against shopkeepers looting prime footpath land corridors when no action is taken against shopkeepers at Ramchandra Dehlvi Marg and New Lajpatrai Market completely blocking footpaths and corridors by keeping their merchandise there. Shopkeepers of New Lajpatrai Market along with Subhash Marg have even put shutters permanently making corridors part of their shops. Concentration of authorities including of Delhi Police and North Delhi Municipal Corporation should first concentrate against tendency of looting public land by hawkers and shopkeepers, rather than prioritising ceiling in private properties.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)