SUPREME COURT DIRECTS CLOSURE OF INDUSTRIES IN DELHI RESIDENTIAL AREAS

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In an omnibus order, the Supreme Court has directed the Delhi Government to close all those industries, except household industries, in residential and non-conforming areas which were set up after August 1, 1990, within five months.

Setting a time limit for closure of different categories of industries which have mushroomed in the residential areas, a Bench comprising Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice B N Agrawal came down heavily on the Delhi Government for its lapses leading to such illegalities.

While giving four months time for the closure of the "F" category industries, which are extensive in nature, the Bench asked the Government to close down light service sector industries within five months.

Giving six months time limit for closure of impermissible household industries, the Bench directed the Centre to finalise the list of permissible household industries within three months which could be allowed to continue.

The Bench directed the Delhi Government to announce a policy within six weeks giving such incentives as it deemed fit to those industrial units which came to be established after August 1, 1990 but face closure on the direction of the apex Court.
However, the Court made it clear that non-announcement of the policy containing the incentives for the industries would in no way affect the deadline set by it for their closure.

"The water and electricity connection of the industrial units found operating after the due date of closure shall be disconnected forthwith and in any case not later than a month of the date fixed for their closure," the Bench said and warned that if the industrial activity still continued, the premises shall be sealed within a period not later than another month.

To make the National Capital region a success, the Bench directed the Centre "to finalise within six months appropriate steps to be taken for making NCR region a success for industrial activity by removing the hurdles pointed out by the industry."
The Court directed the Governmnents of the adjoining States of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana are directed to extend full cooperation.

To stop all illegal industrial activity in the capital and ensure compliance of the direction, the Bench constituted a Monitoring Committee comprising Chief Secretary of Delhi, Delhi Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Vice-Chairman of Delhi Development Authority. It directed the Committee to submit the first progress report to the Court by August 31, 2004, and every two months thereafter.

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