Our beloved Hauz Khas Village refuses to stay out of the limelight. It’s such a shame though, that it isn’t always in it for the right reasons. After numerous infamous reports of molestation and harassment in the village area, this time, it’s the way things are run in HKV that has provoked the ire of the authorities.
The Delhi HC has pulled up the police and South Delhi Municipal Corporation over illegal construction and violation of the master plan in the village. The court was hearing two PILs alleging “unlawful existence” of restaurants, pubs, fashion studios, bars serving liquor without licence, art galleries and other buildings in the village.
The PILs were filed by social activist Pankaj Sharma and advocate Anuja Kapur. They alleged that there are over 120 restaurants and pubs operating in the village without the proper building plan approval and no objection certificate (NOC) from the the authorities, including the fire department. They argued that there was a grave security risk as a result of unplanned operations in the village,, as the crowded area and improper construction makes the area difficult to access by emergency services like ambulances and fire trucks.
The HC observed that “restaurants are running neck to neck in that small area in violation of building bylaws and the master plan. Restaurants are located one on top of another.” It stressed that “time and again” it has told the authorities not to permit conversion of residential buildings without following the building bylaws and the master plan requirements. “You have permitted Kingsway Camp and Lado Sarai to become a nuisance. How are you permitting violation of master plan here?”
The High Court has given the concerned agencies time till August 2 to respond. Let’s hope this mess gets sorted soon and HKV is as safe as it is fun.