NEW DELHI: The Standing Committee of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has asked the factory licensing department to submit its updated report on over 2,000 factories, which were sealed before the Covid-19 outbreak due to technical and revenue issues, with officials saying that it will consider de-sealing them.
North MCD officials said the issue was discussed during a meeting of the standing committee — chaired by its chairman Jogi Ram Jain — on Thursday, where councillors noted that sealing has added to the woes, especially since many businesses have suffered losses due to the pandemic.
A senior North MCD official said that the 2,000 factories were listed as “illegal factory clusters”, mainly involved in garment manufacturing, jeans dyeing, plywood work, furniture making, cardboard work and engineering/welding work, in December 2019. “These units were running from residential areas despite the fact that the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) had allotted only three hubs in the city as ‘notified industrial areas’, i.e. Narela, Bawana and Wazirpur,” he said, on condition of anonymity.
Standing committee member and BJP councillor from Pitampura, Anju Jain, was among those who pushed for de-sealing the factories. “Even those factories, which have been shifted by their owners to the alternative plots allotted to them by the Civic body in the notified industrial areas, should also be de-sealed. Granting them permission to run the factories will help bring the economy back on track,” she said.
Echoing similar views, AAP councillor Vicky Gupta also said that the factories must be de-sealed if they have adhered to the norms. “Many such units have applied under the household industries category to get relief. The power of granting household industry licence has been devolved from the high-powered committee chaired by Delhi government officials to respective municipal bodies after necessary changes in the Master Plan 2021. The civic body must initiate the disposal of their applications,” he said.
Meanwhile, an officer from the licensing department of the North MCD said that since these units have been sealed by monitoring committee, the same panel has to take a call on the issue. “Orders from any other department will be null and void. The chairman of our standing committee has asked us to submit a report about sealed and opened industrial units within 15 days, we are already on it,” said the offical, asking not to be named.
When contacted, Jogi Ram Jain said that a decision on de-sealing the factories can only be taken after getting the detailed report.