Shut down farmhouses not complying with guidelines: Delhi court

April 29th, 2009 - 9:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday ordered that 29 farmhouses in the capital be shut down for not complying with its 2007 guidelines that include specific parking area and size of roads.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice N.K. Kaul ruled after hearing a public interest petition that all the farmhouses, legal or illegal, be shut down with immediate effect if they do not abide by its guidelines laid down in October 2007.

As per the ruling, 29 farmhouses in the city would be shut down within 48 hours, dealing a huge blow to their owners in the peak marriage season as many of them play host to grand weddings.

Counsel for the petitioner Sunil Mittal submitted before the court that the farmhouses in the capital are still not abiding by the court’s guidelines and should be sealed as the violations not only create traffic jams but also cause noise pollution.

Mittal also contended that marriages and functions held in these farmhouses result in revenue loss to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi government.

The counsel for MCD informed the court that only six farmhouses follow the court’s guidelines. The court then asked whether the owners of these farmhouses were paying Rs.20,000 per function to the MCD and if not, their dues should be calculated before being allowed to hold such functions.

According to the court guidelines, farmhouses located on roads less than 60 feet wide cannot hold social functions. Also, farmhouse owners can lend their property for social functions based on a fee of between Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000, depending on its size, payable to MCD.

Moreover, farmhouses need to ensure a minimum one-acre parking space for every 2.5 acres of farm area and parking outside farmhouses is not allowed.

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