The Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee has ordered sealing of all fitness centres, including gyms, yoga and meditation centres, which have came up across Delhi after August 12, 2008.
The order issued on Tuesday pointed out that all these centres fell under the “other” category of land use under Delhi Master Plan-2021 and the cutoff date for these establishments to come up, as per DDA’s notification, was August 12, 2008.
“It is amply clear that as per MPD-2021, the activity under clause 15.7.1, that is, fitness centre, is not permissible after August 12, 2008, irrespective of the status of the road,” the order says, specifying that the order to seal these centres was applicable to all commercial, mixed land use and non-notified places.
The committee has directed DDA vice-chairman, NDMC chairman and commissioners of the three municipal corporations to submit a compliance report by October 22, 2019. “They are directed to seal after following due process of law all such fitness centres which are presently running in violation of MPD-2021.
‘Seal gyms that came up after Aug ’08 by Oct 18’
The sealing of the offending properties should be completed by October 18, 2019, and report forwarded to the monitoring committee by October 22, 2019,” the order reads.
The order says the monitoring committee had observed that the provision of MPD-2021 under “other activity” (clause 15.7e) in respect of existence of fitness centres applied till September 7, 2006, which was extended up to February 7, 2007. The cutoff date for the activity was again extended up to August 12, 2008, by issuing a notification in 2013.
When TOI contacted a senior DDA official, he confirmed that gyms and fitness centres that had come up after the cutoff date of 2008 were indeed illegal. He added that these gyms had been demanding that the cutoff date be extended but no decision had yet been taken on the matter.
“We are not going to take any punitive action. Municipal corporations are responsible for the enforcement action,” the official said. He added that “no relief (by changing the MPD provisions) is being planned, as of now.”
A consultative meeting on the order and future action plan was chaired by the SDMC commissioner on Thursday evening. Senior corporation official said: “We are studying the order and legal opinion is being sought. A legal gap has indeed been left in the master plan but DDA is responsible for it, not us.” Another corporation official, however, clarified that a large number of gyms were operating in basements and any commercial activity in basements was banned as per law.
The Delhi Gym Welfare Association has appealed to the corporations to find an immediate solution. “We have already sold our gym packages and will not be able to return the money to clients as we have spent on rents, facilities and upgrading of equipment. Please provide us some solution so that we can focus on our jobs,” says the appeal statement.