Letter, Court Matter; Inadequate interpretration of Master Plan in Supreme Court PIL

Mr N N Khanna, Secretary, MoUD

Sub: Matters of industries and hawkers in the Hon’ble Supreme Court

Ref: My response to Public Notice of 06.05.03 re Idgah and WP 6980/2002 in Hon’ble High Court


  1. Hon’ble Supreme Court is hearing the industries’ matter for the last few days. While repeated references have been made to MPD-2021 “guidelines” (having no legal standing), status of implementation of MPD-2001 targets / provisions for space for about 100,000 units (accountability about which is guaranteed by law) is not central to the proceedings. Instead, ‘alternatives’ in violation of the Plan are being posited for ‘compliance’ with the Court’s orders based solely on the provisions of the Plan. This issue, raised at length in my response to MoUD’s s.11A Public Notice of 06.05.03 for change of land use from residential to extensive industrial in Idgah and placed before Standing Parliamentary Committee examining functioning of DDA, needs to be covered. In addition, it appears to me that counsel need to be briefed better about details of the Plan and its processes to avoid confusion on points such as the following that came up today:
    • MoUD counsel said GoI changed its stand about regularization of units in residential areas on recommendation of industries’ sub-group for MPD-2021. Lawful Plan review requires basis in implementation monitoring and precludes such recommendation. Details of the sub-groups work need to be placed in Court (as requested several times before)
    • There was reference to 6-7% space in urban extensions for industries. No one knew the Plan definition of urban extensions, which is problematic as a large amount of Plan industrial space is in the 3 UEs. Nor was it clarified that the 1994 resolution to do away with the 6-7% in Dwarka was with reference to permissibility of light and service industries in commercial space (which issue connects to WP 6980/2002, pending in the High Court)
    • MCD counsel suggested private companies not supply electricity to non-conforming units. This is contrary to, besides Plan provisions for non-confirming units, DERC’s view. Also DistComs, so far without any authority, have been levying higher tariffs amounting to penal charges that should accrue to DDA. Role of DistComs vis-à-vis unplanned uses needs to be examined in context also of other conflicts with DD Act (as requested of DERC and DDA)
    • MCD counsel cited resolution of 1963 as basis of exemptions in village abadis. While referring at length to s.507 notifications to declare villages urban, he did not refer to Plan provisions (since 1962) for urban villages, jeopardized by concentration of city ‘backlog’ in them (as raised in WP 6980/2002, etc). Especially if villages are not represented among parties in PIL, the state must raise this. (MCD counsel also mentioned Jessica Lal murder but argument against, I presume, industrial units in villages was contrary to MCD’s stand on Qutb colonnade (about which I have requested DDA shore up its case in terms of Plan violations).
  2. Counsel for MCD in the industries’ matter on 19.11.03 was also counsel for DDA and, according the NGO/magazine MANUSHI, counsel who worked “with conviction and enthusiasm” on the street vendors’ case in which MCD Commissioner, after being advised “by his own officials that he would be committing “contempt of court” …if he allowed [MANUSHI’s] two pilot projects to come through“ took upon himself the “challenge… to get the Supreme Court to put its stamp of approval on the model market project. He chose the best possible lawyers for the case and allowed MANUSHI to work closely with them”. As a result of this case (which, incidentally, justifies increased hawking on account, among others, of closure of industries), instead of ‘pilot project’ for implementation of Master Plan provisions assured on affidavit in January 2003 in WP 6980/2002, NGO pilot projects in contravention of the Plan are underway with belated ‘approval’. The MANUSHI article about the processes by which this came to pass, I believe, call for, MoUD’s long delayed reply in WP 6980/2002 as well as other explanations. Meanwhile, on grounds of ‘precedent’ set by MCD Commissioner I request that, since the matter of industries before the Supreme Court is based solely on Master Plan, counsel be instructed to work closely with (independent) Planners and volunteer my services on basis of having already extensively chronicled, submitted, represented, etc, in the matter including through s.11A.

Yours sincerely


Gita Dewan Verma / Planner

cc: Vice Chairman, DDA


  • Addition to response to s.11A Public Notice of 04/11/2004 for redevelopment of industrial areas1, 09/12/2004
  • Demand for action against MCD for approval of proposal to auction weekly markets2, 09/12/2004  
  • 1. Addition to response: Gita Dewan Verma
  • 2. Demand for action against MCD
    For deliberate violation of s.21 of Delhi Development Act in its approval of proposal to auction weekly hawking markets: Letter to Secretary MoUD, 09/12/2004