The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the city police and the Chief Fire Engineer to inspect Hauz Khas Village to find out whether emergency service vehicles can enter its lanes in case of an eventuality.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rekha Palli, taking note of Public Interest Litigations claiming illegal constructions and encroachments in Hauz Khas Village, asked authorities to ensure strict enforcement of law in the area.

The bench also asked officials to carry out a survey and find the exact number of restaurants operating in Hauz Khas Village illegally and without prior approval from the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

Hauz Khas Village — a hub of restaurants, pubs, art galleries and fashion studios — in South Delhi came under the scanner of the High Court after PILs said that a number of restaurants were running illegally, bars serving liquor without licence and no safety norms were being followed by them.

There is gross violation of emergency exit, according to the pleas. In all, 120 restaurants and pubs have come up in the area in the past 10 years without any building plan approval from the SDMC.

The bench also issued notice to the Centre, the Delhi government, Delhi Police and the SDMC and sought their responses on the issue by July 24.

The pleas sought a complete ban on pubs and bars running illegally in the village.