Squatters at Lajpat Nagar market ‘fatal’, remove them: HC

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New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the civic body and police to remove squatters from the Lajpat Magar Central Market here, saying their presence could be “fatal and suicidal” in case of a calamity.

The Central or Pushpa Market in Lajpat Nagar is a “no-squatting zone”, but authorities have failed to maintain it as such, it said.

A division bench of Justice G.S. Sistani and Justice Vinod Goel said: “The effect of this is fatal and suicidal as in case of a calamity, no vehicles of emergency services, including ambulances or fire trucks, can reach the spot and relief would be hampered on account of obstruction on the roads and by-lanes.”

The bench said this while taking into note a site plan submitted to the court showing that the roads, lanes, by-lanes and pavements are being blocked by unauthorised street vendors.

Numerous persons visit the market on a daily basis and this court would be putting all of their lives and security in jeopardy if we were to be a privy to the encroachers, the bench said, directing the the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to conduct regular eviction drives and the Delhi Police to render the necessary assistance.

It asked both SDMC and police to prepare and maintain lists of persons removed from the area to ensure that repeat offenders are brought to book.

The bench said the zonal head of SDMC and the SHO concerned will be personally liable to ensure that its directions are complied with.

–IANS

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