HC: Ef­figy-mak­ers must get marked ar­eas for work

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: The Delhi high court has di­rected the South Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (SDMC) to en­sure that the area al­lot­ted to ar­ti­sans, who make Ra­vana ef­fi­gies for Dussehra, is ex­clu­sively avail­able to them “with­out any hin­drance”. A bench of Chief Jus­tice Ra­jen­dra Menon and Jus­tice V K Rao also di­rected SDMC to pro­vide water, elec­tric­ity and se­cu­rity mea­sures by Septem­ber 19 at the site al­lot­ted to the ar­ti­sans for do­ing their work.

It also di­rected the cor­po­ra­tion to put up no­tices in pub­lic ar­eas in­di­cat­ing where the ef­fi­gies are avail­able for sale.

The SDMC had ear­lier told the court that two plots of land have been iden­ti­fied in west Delhi for ar­ti­sans mak­ing Ra­vana ef­fi­gies ahead of the fes­tive sea­son.

The bench had ear­lier asked the south Delhi civic body to charge the ar­ti­sans only Rs 1.50 per square feet per month for this year.

The court was hear­ing a PIL ini­ti­ated on its own af­ter it came across a news re­port say- ing that sev­eral Ra­vana ef­fi­gies, built by ar­ti­sans who came here from Ra­jasthan for Dussehra, were de­stroyed or con­fis­cated by the SDMC for al­legedly en­croach­ing on pub­lic land.

Last Septem­ber, it had asked the Delhi gov­ern­ment and the cor­po­ra­tion to for­mu­late a pol­icy for al­lo­cat­ing land to the ar­ti­sans.

There­after, a draft pol­icy was framed by the Delhi gov­ern­ment af­ter hold­ing meet­ings with the cor­po­ra­tions and other civic bod­ies. The pol­icy laid down the modal­i­ties for util­is­ing land iden­ti­fied for use by the ar­ti­sans.

It stated that the ar­ti­sans would have to regis­ter with the cor­po­ra­tions two months be­fore the start of the work and once a site was al­lot­ted, it would be for only two months. On ex­piry of the pe­riod of al­lot­ment, the ar­ti­sans would have to va­cate the site.

The doc­u­ment also said that the ar­ti­sans would have to en­sure that there was no pol­lu­tion of any kind at the site al­lot­ted to them.

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