Letter, Court Matter; Sub: Resumption of work on mega-housing in 56 Ha Sultangarhi project

Letter to Secretary MoUD and LG / DDA Chairman to ask yet again for directions for stoppage and inquiry in compliance of court order of 2002 against the illegal ridge area project

Secretary MoUD

Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi – 110070

Sub: Resumption of work on mega-housing in 56 Ha Sultangarhi project – Request for meeting and for s.41 directions for inquiry as per order of 16.09.02 in WP 4978/2002


There are workers and leveling going on in the mega-housing part of Sultangarhi ‘Mega-housing’ / ‘Heritage Park’ project in Delhi Master Plan (DMP) Green Belt in ridge area, in judgment of 16.09.02 in WP 4978/2002 against which Hon’ble High Court has said:

“This writ petition which is in the nature of a public interest litigation raises a question of far reaching consequences and has wide ramifications. …It is a matter of great concern that a statutory authority which is statutorily to protect and preserve the statutory scheme itself has been violating the provisions of law. …The submission of Mr.Jaitley, the learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of (DDA) is that no public interest would be subserved if we direct stoppage of construction … Public interest in a case of this nature also demands that activities of the statutory authority be directed to confine it within the four corners of law. The statutory authorities cannot be allowed to act de hors the statute. However high you may be the law is higher than you… In fact it is a fit case where the Chairman of (DDA) should see to it that how authorities of (DDA) herein were allowed to take such decisions which admittedly are wholly illegal and without jurisdiction. …once such illegalities are permitted the same in our opinion would give further incentive to a statutory authority like (DDA)to perpetuate the same and to indulge in other illegalities.”

The inquiry has not been conducted despite several letters, including ones lately written to your office and ones forwarded to it by secretariat of President of India as per letters of 11.02.04, 18.06.04, 30.07.04 and 03.08.04. Objections to the project filed by over 1700 families in response to s.11A Public Notice of 15.09.02 have not been answered, though they were “heard” on 27.01.03 by a Board that declined to explain even why work did not stop. The contentions of these are pending hearing by Parliamentary Standing Committee of views invited vide notice of 22.06.03 pursuant to the DDA scam. They are also sub-judice in other matters in High Court and now also pending hearing requested of Supreme Court Empowered Committee. As apprehended by the Court, Sultangarhi project illegalities are being perpetuated with impunity – by DDA (Games Village, Biodiversity Park, etc, in riverbed and Malls, Biodiversity Park, etc, in ridge area), by other authorities (Metro Depot / IT park, etc, in riverbed and Liver and Billiary Hospital, Mandi, etc, in ridge area), and by ‘policy’ to allow misuse of public land for private profit at a “fee” (as in case of farmhouse parties or for commercialization of facility sites, etc).

Futile though it seems, I would be failing in my responsibility if I were not to repeat this request. Please issue s.41 directions to DDA for full stoppage and inquiry of Sultangarhi project as per the order of Hon’ble High Court and, by extension, of all projects in CGWA notified ridge and riverbed zones as well as for making Zonal Plans by due process for these zones, which are zones of maximum trans-generational responsibility under DMP and also since “development” in contravention of DMP is increasingly finding for endorsements ways that are eroding all systems and institutions of democracy.

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma, Planner

cc: DDA Chairman