Letter, Public Notice; Sub: Public Notice appearing in Hindustan Times of 27.08.04 (Full page-21)
Letter to DDA Commissioner (Planning) about problems with the Public Notice, with request to communicate his views on the same to GNCTD Commissioner of Industries for issuance of another Public Notice
Mr A K Jain Commissioner (Planning), DDA
Sub: Public Notice appearing in Hindustan Times of 27.08.04 (Full page-21) – request to communicate your view as Commissioner (Planning) to Commissioner of Industries
Dear Mr Jain,
The above-mentioned Public Notice issued by Commissioner of Industries GNCTD calls attention of “Industrial units operating in residential / non-conforming areas of Delhi”, mentions (in para-1) closure deadline of 06.09.04 for F-category units and reproduces (in para-2) list of 81 types of industrial activities from DMP-2001 Annexure-III Group-F. It requests (in para-3) from “General Public” information about “functioning of such industries in their neighbourhood” and provides for this names, phone numbers and addresses of all 36 SDMs and of 3 officers in Office of the Commissioner, etc.
In face of propensity to abandon planned development / DMP, the judgment of 07.05.04, based entirely on DMP, vindicates DMP, planned development and our profession and l believe it is our responsibility to ensure its lawful compliance. All that I have written in the matter since the judgment arises from this perspective. I am writing now out of apprehension of imminent unlawful compliance to request you to communicate your view on the following with urgency to Commissioner of Industries for issuance of another Public Notice.
- Since “non-conforming area” is devoid of basis in DMP and means nothing, the phrase “residential / non-conforming areas” must be interpreted as “Residential and other Use Zones” with reference to 37 use zones classified in 9 categories in clause-4 of DMP Development Code and conformity in each of these must be assessed with reference to stipulations for permissibility set out in clause-8(ii) of the Code. In the present drift, “residential / non-conforming area” arguably applies only to conforming layouts in Residential Use Zone (marked yellow in Land Use Plan).
- Since non-conformity is mismatch between existing use (pre-existing use to be precise) and land use as stipulated by marking, as per clause-6, location and boundaries for Use Zones in Land Use Plan in DMP and its Zonal Development Plans u/s.8, the question of non-conformity does not arise where no land use has been stipulated by due process. SDMs in areas not covered by DMP Land Use Plan or duly notified ZDP have no role apropos this judgment.
- Since industrial Classification in DMP-2001 is not uni-dimensional (several of the types listed in F-category are also listed under other categories – eg, Flour mill / Atta chakki, Aluminium products, Electric motors, Soap, Typewriters, Wire Netting in ‘B’, Utensils, Plastic Dyes, Polishing in ‘C’, etc), exhortations to “General Public” to help identify F-category units may lead to identification errors and are uncalled for.
- For units unambiguously identifiable as F-category units, for which this Public Notice seems to be, import has to be appreciated of the fact that even as DMP-2001 allocates 265 Ha in outlying zones for them to shift they are being asked to shut with no legal options on offer – maximum plot size in Bawana being 250 sqm, short of minimum of 400 sqm stipulated for F-category in DMP. Just as F-category units that came up after 1990 anywhere within DMP Land Use Plan area are violative of an explicit DMP prohibition, industrial clusters in outlying zones are in conformity with explicit DMP provisions adding up to allocation of 265 Ha in 2 locations for extensive (F-category) industrial areas and 1533 Ha in 16 locations for Light and Service industrial areas of maximum 100 Ha each. I reiterate my contention that industrial clusters in outlying zones fall outside the purview of the judgment of 07.05.04 not in only in broad terms of (2) above, but also as follows:
- Bawana violates DMP scale restrictions / dispersal provisions for industrial estates and is likely to become hugely problematic in future. It is really “non-conforming area” and makes action against privately developed industrial areas in outlying zones violative of Article 14.
- Clause-3(5) of the Code stipulates that “areas in respect of which there is no approved layout plan shall be governed by the provisions of the master plan / zonal developmental plan”. Not only are privately developed industrial areas in outlying zones in conformity with DMP, unlike residential and other uses, industrial use provisions in DMP are primarily in outlying zones. Action against privately developed industrial areas in outlying zones would make any ‘regularization’ of privately developed unauthorized colonies in them, not readily justifiable in view of adequate provisions for residential use in Plan areas, violative of Article 14.
- Projects by authorities in outlying zones without benefit of ZDP or DMP modification (wholly illegal, as ruled by Hon’ble High Court in WP 4978/2002) may well make industrial closure there malafide. The judgment of 07.05.04 makes reference to “policy” of 1991 to not develop industrial area in Dwarka, but there appears to have been no DMP modification by due process of s.11A either to drop mandatory industrial area in Dwarka or to compensate it elsewhere in outlying zones, for which ZDPs also appear not to have been notified by due process of s.10. In other words, assorted ‘schemes’ being ‘developed’ with no basis in ZDP may well be usurping land suited for industrial development according to DMP and raise Article 14 issue.
- Action against industrial areas in view of the above would also violate the right to participate in planned development through objections and suggestions in response to Public Notice mandatory u/s.10 for ZDP and s.11A for DMP modification (a right clearly upheld in WP 4978/2002).
- There is a problem with soliciting information about industries from “General Public”, an approach more in line with Delhi Government’s selective “bhagidari” than with imperatives of law. Penal provisions against misuse do not envisage any such “participatory” process. Not only do mandatory Plan monitoring provisions and other responsibilities require identification of misusers to emanate from rigorous and accountable processes in authorities themselves, without parity for all complaints against all types of misuse neighbourhood-watch style solicitation paints industries in wholly unwarranted criminal shades. The compliance of this judgment must remain focused on its objective of restoring residential amenity, without which closure of industries will amount to its misuse. Already, Supreme Court having had to stay MCD’s proposal for licensing commercial misuse has raised cause for concern on this count. It must also be borne in mind that owners and workers in industries are also residents of the city and residential amenity benefit of industrial closure goes also to them. If anything, they should be asked to report, say, commercial misuse in areas of their residence for simultaneous closure for priority benefit of the judgment that is otherwise “against” them so that confidence in planning law and courts is maintained.
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner
- Mr Jalaj Srivastava, Commissioner of Industries, GNCTD (wrt our meeting on 20.08.04)
- Monitoring Committee members (for information, in cont. of previous correspondence)
- Secretary MoUD (for information, with request for appropriate intervention)