City Plans are statutory frameworks for equitable and efficient development. Their revisions need minding against downsizing of entitlements and solutions.

A Plan revision minder to help citizens gear up for effectively participating through the Public Notice process under which the draft of the revised Plan was to be placed before them for 90 days in 2003 (suspended due to delay in Public Notice). Beginning with the end of 2002, Assembly election-year and Master Plan revision end-game have converged in Delhi. This will affect the revised Plan, the statutory framework for Delhi's development up to 2021. Delhi's future could do with some minding in 2003.

Delhi's Master Plan came into force in 1962 for a perspective up to 1981, was then revised for a perspective up to 2001 and is currently being revised for 2021. A description of the 1962 Plan and Plan 2001 and the vision guiding the revision can be seen on Delhi Development Authority's website. As a document of citizens' entitlements in benefits of planned development Delhi's Master Plan is arguably adequate, but its implementation has not been so. Accountability on implementation, however, features nowhere in the Plan revision discourse, leaving citizens no choice but to mind their entitlements themselves. The draft Plan for 2021 is likely to be notified this year for public objections and suggestions for the mandatory 90-day period. The purpose of this Monitor is to track the Plan revision end-game and place it in an entitlements' perspective to facilitate informed public participation in those 90 days to, in turn, secure Plan ownership for the next two decades. The entitlements' perspective of planned development might also be of interest elsewhere as Master Plans are currently being revised in several cities.

This "minder" is based on professional planning work since 1999/2000 with citizens’ groups seeking Master Plan implementation and on independent engagements to track Plan related developments and place them in an analytical perspective to generate a basis for informed participation in the ongoing Plan revision.1 What emerges from the account forming the basis of this "minder" is by no means a pretty picture. There have been gross Plan implementation failures adding up to a massive land scam involving perhaps a fifth of the city’s land and Plan revision is poised to legitimize this.

The premise of this assessment and this "minder" is that planned development is not Plan-making but development according to Plan, which is a document of entitlements on which Plan revision must provide implementation accountability and enhancement assurance while seeking participation to build Plan ownership. This position is different from the dominant pro-Plan, anti-Plan and Plan-ambivalent positions that the 4-year long discourse has thrown up, which view the Plan as a plannerly artifact, its revision as a moment to posit alternatives and purpose of participation in it as advocacy rather than ownership.2

It is true that the plannerly position on which this Minder is based has not found space in the Plan revision discourse, but it is also true that this position provides a holistic view of the city's extraordinary land scam and its implications for equitable and sustainable city development. The purpose, or at least hope, of this Minder is that citizens of Delhi (owners of its Master Plan) and its young planners (who will be its professional custodians) will use it to use the window of opportunity provided by the Public Notice to effectively engage on Plan revision for 90-days and forge alliances to engage on Plan implementation for 20 years.

Demystify

An entitlements’ perspective of the Plan and its revision

Track

Status, process and trends affecting entitlements

Engage

Comfort-zone links, campaigns and activities

Delhi Master Plan is part and parcel of the Act by which Delhi Development Authority was created and land acquired compulsorily in Delhi over 40 years for only for development according to Plan.

Most accurately described as a document of citizens’ entitlements in benefits of balanced equitable and sustainable development, the Plan came into force in 1962, was revised in the ‘80s for 2001 and is now being revised for 2021.

Plan revision modifies entitlements and the law protects them from being downsized in this process. That the revision should proceed lawfully is what could do with minding.

Status. Work on Delhi Master Plan 2021 started in 1999 and announcements about proposed changes are frequently made, but there is no information about progress on it by due process of law.

Process. Some visions of Delhi like Tokyo/Singapore/Kuala Lumpur, etc, rather than lawful modification process, seem to be guiding this revision. Lack of seriousness about Public Notice has also been lately demonstrated.

Entitlements. Plan modifications already announced condone violations and implementation failures to effectively facilitate land commodification at the cost of citizens' entitlements and with grave implications for the city's future.

This Minder hopes that citizens of Delhi (owners of its Master Plan) and its young urban professionals (who will be its professional custodians) will use it to use the window of opportunity provided by the Public Notice to effectively engage on Plan revision for 90-days of Public Notice period and to forge alliances to engage on Plan implementation for 20 years of the Plan period.

The intention is not to create a single forum for engaging now or later but a comfort-zone for citizens and young professionals to meet to strike their own alliances and courses. The intention is also to create a space for campaigns and activities consistent with the purpose of this Minder.

1. Housing

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2. Industry

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3. Commerce

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4. Processes

See Position Paper: Processes: advocacy for banishing buffaloes, The Hindu, 05.06.043

  • 1. The citizens’ groups who have been pursuing Master Plan implementation include residents in villages, old bastis, recent flats, service providers’ settlements, resettlement colonies, etc. They have been engaging separately with DDA through letters, reports, etc. And they have been engaging jointly or collectively on matters of mutual interest. There have been partnerships, such as between flat residents and hawkers for organising hawking according to hawkers’ entitlements under the Plan. There have been coordinated efforts, such as slum and flat residents seeking implementation of conditions for, respectively, free seats and local enrolment in schools, and residents in old bastis, recent slums and resettlement colonies opposing Plan violating inferior low-income housing options. There have been support actions, such as flat residents objecting to slum resettlement in support of slum residents’ demand for housing according to Plan, basti residents supporting hawkers' in carrying out a survey, etc. There have been joint efforts on court matters, such as a joint petition by village, flat and basti residents and hawkers to challenge up-market disposal of local commercial facilities in violation of the Plan and substantive engaging leading to the PIL that stopped DDA’s illegal HIG scheme in green belt. There has been collective action, including a 2 month long demonstration in support of Plan implementation, a 2-week long effort to mobilise over 1700 objections in response to a Public Notice for land use change of green belt, etc. There has even been a collective attempt to position planned development on the political agenda through participation in the municipal elections of 2002 with a proxy candidate to seek a vote for the Master Plan. The joint efforts of citizens’ groups separately engaging on their entitlements use a synergy platform called Master Plan Implementation Support Group (MPISG). MPISG is a platform of citizens’ groups, primary stakeholders, but for expediency has as member the Planner who is consultant / adviser to its member groups. The independent documentation contributing to this Minder is that of MPISG Planner. It has tracked in relation to the on-going Plan revision most Plan issues (housing, industries, commerce, facilities, environment, heritage, etc). Their inter-connections are captured in a ‘case study’ at 100,000 population level (mid-hierarchy planning level at which most Plan norms are explicit and most issues converge) where MPISG groups from different sections are active. Implementation, revision, participation, etc, processes have also been explored. All this is chronicled in reports, court cases, audiovisual material, a book, papers, correspondence, etc. Only a small part of this substantive professional work is posted here, but all is available to anyone for any use consistent with its purpose and position.
  • 2. The dominant pro-Plan position views the Plan as a pretty-picture blueprint requiring ruthless clearance of unplanned development for planned development in the likeness of global cities. The anti-Plan position argues for regularisation of all unplanned development on grounds of planned development being anti-people. The Plan-ambivalent position is a curious combination of anti-Plan rhetoric and ‘data’ suggesting need for implementation, of simultaneous demands for Plan implementation and regularisation of unplanned development, etc. All these three positions take an inadequate view of Plan entitlements of citizens, especially the poor. The pro-Plan and anti-Plan positions disregard these altogether and the Plan-ambivalent position, despite its ‘data’ about failures to implement (some) pro-poor Plan provisions, obfuscates them with its overall anti-Plan stance. All fail to acknowledge that the pro-poor provisions of the Plan represent, besides entitlements of the poor to city space, entitlements of all to squalor-free sustainable development and, though the Plan is aimed at fostering synergistic society, project it as somehow being at the root of class-conflict. All these three positions also take an inadequate view of Plan revision process, especially by failing to insist on mandatory provisions that guarantee implementation accountability. Even the Plan-ambivalent position, despite its own implementation failure ‘data’, stops short of demanding simply Plan implementation and, instead, posits original ideas to imply planning failures. By using the Plan revision as an opportunity to advocate their own planning ideas all these positions have in effect contributed to sweeping under the carpet implementation failures adding up to a massive land scam, something not possible in Plan revision by due process of law. All these three positions also take an inadequate view of participation in Plan revision, reducing it to one-time effort in merely Plan-making, or rather support for their positions by their constituencies. The opportunity to build broad-based Plan ownership in course of Plan revision has been foregone by undermining public faith in the Plan through unfounded criticism and advocacy of inferior alternatives as ‘better’. And marginalisation of professionals in the planning-without-planners paradigm that all three positions take pride in has led also to missing the opportunity to promote ownership of the Plan among young professionals who are its future custodians. The entitlements’ perspective of the Plan and its revision, although it has not found place in the discourse dominated by these three positions, is potentially more useful especially for citizens and young professionals whose ‘turn’ to participate is guaranteed by the Public Notice process. >> more about the entitlements’ perspective of the Plan and its revision in the DEMYSTIFY section.
  • 3. Processes: advocacy for banishing buffaloes, the Hindu, 05.06.04
    Two days after newspapers reported Delhi Urban Development Minister’s decision to relocate Delhi’s dairies in accordance with Delhi Master Plan, The Hindu, in a news report (with no byline, no quotes and no news) titled ‘Sheila Government bogged down by populism’ has pitched for resumption of the drive by which MCD had started shutting Delhi’s dairies and auctioning impounded buffaloes in neighbouring states in the name of court orders in an NGO PIL about stray cattle. The business of banishing buffaloes smells of monkey business and could do with some minding.

    http://skel.architexturez.net/doc/az-cf-21835