MoUD/DDA should have called today a press conference
to announce ‘guidelines’ for the ‘third’ Master Plan
of Delhi.
Under law Delhi has one Master Plan, which cannot be
abandoned and substituted by a new Plan since that
would make a lot of land acquisition, carried out over
the last 40 years for express purpose of development
according to Plan, malafide.
The one and only Master Plan can only be modified by
due process of law, meant to provide accountability on
implementation, safeguards against wilful downsizing
of entitlements to use of space in the city as well as
to safe passage from past to future and plausible
assurance of greater furtherance of goals of equitable
and sustainable city development.
This due process of Plan revision neither contemplates
nor can it be substituted by ‘guidelines’ issued at a
joint press conference by acting Union Urban
Development Minister and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi,
heads, respectively of MoUD and DDA, custodians of the
Master Plan, its enabling Act and facilitating land
policy.
While the LG has mentioned that the Plan will be put
to Public Notice, recent experiences with Public
Notices have all shown especially the LG’s
indifference to the Public Notice process. (It may be
recalled that LG inaugurated the Metro Police Station
in the Metro Depot while Public Notice process for
change of land use from riverbed was underway. LG also
approved a day after CBI raids of DDA top brass
modification of mixed land use regulations even as
objections in response to Public Notice had not been
heard. Land acquisition for slum resettlement
continued even after High Court had quashed the
resettlement policy and despite objections in response
to Public Notice. Lately LG approved a 56 hectare
scheme in green belt even as outcome of Public Notice
process involving 1700 objections, besides of
court-ordered inquiry, has yet to be made public). In
any case, Public Notice is only the last stage of the
due process of Plan modification and no meaningful
public scrutiny and comment is possible without a
frame of reference provided by accountability on
existing provisions.
Besides completely subverting due process of Plan
modification, all the ‘guidelines’ also frustrate
processes of law, relating as they do to matters
sub-judice in High Court and Supreme Court or subject
of Public Notices. And they have been issued barely a
fortnight after the last date for sending views to a
Standing Parliamentary Committee purportedly examining
the functioning of DDA, which is limited by law to
Master Plan implementation, monitoring and review.
Like the Cooperative Societies’ Bill introduced in
Delhi Assembly today, the ‘guidelines’ announced by
MoUD/DDA for Delhi’s ‘third’ Master Plan are
completely contrary to the goals and purpose of Delhi
Master Plan and land policy and effectively serve to
condone and legitimise misuse of public land, which
can only be at the cost of legitimate entitlements to
its use since land and linked resources like water are
limited.
Regrettable history was written today.

For something on the entitlements’ perspective of the
Master Plan and its modification, see
http://www.delhiscienceforum.org/dmp2021/demystif.htm


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