The Delhi Pollution Control Committee on Saturday sealed 21 restaurants in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village for not having the proper environmental clearances to operate. “Most of these don’t have Consent to Establish or Consent to Operate certificates, which are mandatory to run hotels in Delhi,” Ramchandra M Shingare, the sub-divisional magistrate of Hauz Khas, told the Hindustan Times.

These clearances are necessary for ensuring that the establishment does not cause water and air pollution. “The notices for violations were issued over a period of time,” Delhi Pollution Control Committee member secretary Sayed Musawwir Ali told The Indian Express. “We had issued a total of 22 closure notices. But only 21 restaurants were shut down as one eatery had shut earlier.” Some of the restaurants that have been shut down are The Big Burp Theoi, Wow Momo, Rehab Gastro Pub, The Frat House, Chaayos Restaurant, Bull Doga, Wai Wai City and Speedy Chef.

The Delhi High Court had observed on September 15 that the Hauz Khas Village was a “ticking time bomb.” “The reports of the Delhi Police, the Delhi Fire Service, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Jal Board illustrate that the Hauz Khas Village is a ticking time bomb without essential civic and emergency services,” the court had said, according to NDTV. “Our repeated queries regarding quantum of solid waste and sewage generated by these restaurants evoked no response from either the authorities or the restaurant owners.”

However, the move to shut 21 eateries has left the Hauz Khas Village Traders’ Association upset. Raj Kumar Dhingra, a member of the association, said that out of 12 restaurants running in his building, six were shut down for lack of a no-objection certificate. “However, all these restaurant owners had applied for licences from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the Delhi Police a long time back, and their applications were put on hold unnecessarily,” he claimed. “No prior notices were served by government authorities to any restaurant owner before taking this action”.