24th September, 2002
DDA, Vikas Sadan ‘B’ Block
INA New Delhi- 110023
Sub: OBJECTION ON BEHALF OF SERVICE PROVIDERS IN VASANT KUNJ in response to DDA’s Public Notice (no number, no date) in Sunday Hindustan Times, September 15, 2002
On behalf of Vasant Kunj’s service providers, I place on record our objection to DDA’s scheme for which Public Notice was issued on 15.09.02 and on which construction has been going on since March 2002. The ground for our objection is that it does not seem to us to be in line with DDA’s mandate of or purpose of public land acquisition for development according to Master Plan for DDA to seek a Plan amendment for up-market development in violation of the Plan while showing no enthusiasm at all about implementing Master Plan provisions for service providers.
Vasant Kunj Rehri Patri Vyapari Ekta Manch has been seeking implementation of Plan provisions for space for hawkers in DDA’s markets, etc, since February 2001. DDA has not acted on our sustained request to it to do its job. It was only after the PM intervened in the hawking issue in general in August and forwarded to DDA a representation from us in October that DDA gave us a written assurance on 19.10.01. Despite this and our continued requests DDA has not acted on its assurance to do for us what it should have done itself years ago. We learn that in its counter-affidavit filed in court in the matter of the scheme for which this Public Notice has been issued, DDA has justified its enthusiasm for building HIG flats in violation of the Master Plan and Delhi Development Act on grounds of PM’s intervention in favour of wait-listed registrants for DDA flats. We do not consider this a valid reason for Master Plan amendment, especially in view of the fact that DDA has not shown any enthusiasm about PM’s intervention for Plan implementation in our favour.
Residents of Arjun Camp, a settlement of service providers within Vasant Kunj were forced to move court in August 2002 when faced with threat of eviction by DDA. Since July 2000 ‘slum’ residents in and around Vasant Kunj have been requesting DDA to implement the Master Plan’s low-income housing provisions for benefit of service providers to solve the slum problem in the area, repeatedly drawing attention to the fact that it is misusing sites meant for low-income housing for up-market flats and that there is already an excess of up-market housing here as per Master Plan norms for residential landuse. In the matter of Arjun Camp, DDA has yet to file reply and, on the court’s direction of 21.08.02 the residents have approached DDA for clarifications on entitlements, which also it has yet to provide. We learn that in its counter-affidavit filed in court in the matter of the scheme for which this Public Notice has been issued, DDA has justified building HIG flats in the area on grounds of ‘housing shortage’. We do not consider this a valid reason for Master Plan amendment because, as per Master Plan norms, ‘housing shortage’ in the area is by way of housing for service providers and not HIG, and DDA has yet to reply in the Arjun Camp court case.
We would be grateful for an acknowledgement of our objection along with timely information on any technical ‘shortcomings’ in it.
(Representative VKRPVEM and Convenor MPISG Service Providers’ Unit)