The Delhi High Court, in a batch of petitions claiming illegal running of restaurants in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village, has directed for the compilation of pleadings of the restaurant owners..It has also asked for reports of authorities including South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Police and Delhi Fire Services for a holistic and effective hearing..The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also stated that such compilation should be done within 10 days and appointed Advocate Rajiv Kumar Yadav (representing the petitioner) as the Coordinator..The petitioners have alleged that several restaurants, bars and cafes in Hauz Khas Village are being run illegally in connivance with the authorities, putting public safety in peril and adversely impacting the environment..It is also contended that some of these restaurants, namely Social, Yeti and Smoke House Deli, are being run in gross violation of the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, as unauthorized constructions and commercial activities are being carried out on the very wall of the monument or within the statutorily prescribed prohibited area..The petitioners further informed the Court that sexual violence and other crimes take place because of the illegal running of the restaurants. It is also alleged that public nuisance is created on account of the overcrowding and congestion by people and traffic snarls in the area..The Court had earlier ordered the authorities to conduct inspections of the concerned area along with private parties, to place the true position before it..On persual of the same, the Court held that the reports and the accompanying photographs placed before it establish the stated position. It observed,.“The sewage system clearly does not have the capacity to cope with the immense additional load from the kitchens and bathrooms of these restaurants. The adverse impact on the hygiene and environment so far as the citizenry is concerned thereby would be insurmountable and irreversible..In order to turn around a fire engine, the Delhi Fire Services requires a road width of minimum 15 to 20 meters. We fail to understand as to how in an emergency a fire engine only needs to enter the village on the available road of 6 meters width (if at all) without any point of exit for it.” .With regard to grant of licenses for constructions within the prohibited area, the Bench observed,.“It is appalling to note that the respondents (authorities) are merely examining these applications from the aspect of technical compliance with regard to statutory provisions. No effort with regard to physical inspection for the purpose of grant of license is done.”.The Court stated that in case there is any emergency, it would be impossible to reach the buildings inside Hauz Khas Village..“The reports of the Delhi Police, Delhi Fire Service, SDMC and the Delhi Jal Board illustrate that the Hauz Khas village is a ticking time bomb without essential civic and emergency services.” .Finally, the Court observed that it prima facie appears that all central and relevant factors have been ignored by the authorities. While directing the compilation of pleadings and reports, the Court held,.“We find that the above reports by the parties have been filed haphazardly in these three matters. For a holistic and effective consideration, it is necessary to have a common paper-book for the purpose of an effective hearing..Whatever be the final decision, we have no manner of doubt that in case there is a mishap or any loss of life or limb in the present case, the restaurant owners will not be permitted or allowed to escape the liability, civil and criminal.” .The matter will be next heard on September 26..Read the Order.Image taken from here.