MCD proposals for urban villages

Sub: Byelaw revision (Lal Dora): request re planning / legal experts

Ref: WP 8523/2003 and my request of 03.11.2004 (enclosed)

Dear Mr Mehta,

This is firstly to request details of the techno-legal basis of Lal Dora initiatives by MCD and GNCTD, lately reported in media, in view of the following judicial / statutory processes in which overlapping issues are raised and await disposal by the authorities:

  1. PIL under reference (for enforcement of statutory Master Plan solutions for villages), awaiting replies (from MCD, GNCTD, DDA, MoUD, DMRC, etc) on notice on 22.09.2004.
  2. DDA’s s.11A Public Notice of 07.11.04 for land use change near Mahipalpur village.
  3. MoUD’s s.11A Public Notice of 04.11.04, arising in the matter in which Hon’ble Supreme Court had ordered on 07.05.04 MCD to take a decision about Lal Dora in three months
  4. CVC reference of 10.09.2004, etc, and WP 6980/2002 (about commercial development in departure from Plan, leading to stress in villages, parking problems, etc)

I urge you to expedite MCD’s reply in WP 8523/2003 and also to use your good offices as ex-officio member of the Authority of the DDA to help expedite disposal of the above.

Secondly, I again seek information about planning and legal experts on MCD’s reform initiatives who can clarify my doubts about them, in view of the following:

  1. I had sought this in my letter under reference vis-à-vis likelihood of slums being included in MCD reform exercises. Since then eviction has occurred for MCD Civic Centre and been sought by DMRC in High Court, even as the demand for the statutory Master Plan solution to the slum problem is pending in, among others, court matters in which DDA has admitted on affidavit failure to develop mandatory EWS housing, justifying the same on basis of options being available in urban villages, while skirting the question of misuse of sites earmarked (typically near villages) for EWS housing. This has a direct bearing on the Lal Dora debate and is also an issue in the PIL under reference. (The same holds for WP 6978/2002 and connected CVC reference apropos informal sector).
  2. Express Newsline of 22.12.04 features an article about Lal Dora Extension by Architect associated with MCD Byelaw revision, which in my view has several techno-legal errors, leading to cause for concern about errors in the premise on which the MCD proposals rest. With identical concern, I had pointed out in November 2003 certain omissions in MCD counsel’s submissions about Lal Dora to the Apex Court in the matter of industries.

Now that MCD plans to offer consultancy to other ULBs about its reform experiences, for which being open to and capable of dealing with independent professional concerns will help inspire confidence in prospective clients, I do hope to hear from your office in this regard.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely


Gita Dewan Verma / Planner