The Delhi High Court today directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to apprise it of all the restaurants in south Delhi's Hauz Khas Village that are located within prohibited distance of a protected monument.
The information about the eateries which exist near protected monument was sought by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar after the ASI said it had taken action against properties which were located in the prohibited zone, but could not give specific details or names of the restaurants.
Noting that the status report filed by ASI was "accompanied by incomprehensible documents", the court directed it to file an affidavit indicating the restaurants in the Hauz Khas Village that fall in the prohibited area according to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
The bench also directed the ASI to ensure it inspects every restaurant in the area and listed the matter for further hearing on May 21.
The directions came during hearing of PILs filed by social activist Pankaj Sharma and advocate Anuja Kapur, who have also alleged that over 120 pubs and restaurants were running in the Hauz Khas Village without any approved building plans or no objection certificate (NOC) from the authorities including the fire department.
The petitioners in their pleas have also alleged that the streets in the village were not wide enough for a fire tender to move easily in case of an emergency.
The high court had earlier observed that not a single restaurant or pub in Hauz Khas Village has got a sanctioned building plan from the municipal authorities to run their businesses.
The court had termed the area as "a ticking time bomb".
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