On Sunday someone as old-fashioned as I said taking
away of rights does not take away responsibilities,
freedom comes with both and we should remember that
around Independence Day. In face of the incredible
happenings of last fortnight I am unable to think of
what to do really responsibly, so I am doing two
things that I consider somewhat responsible.
One, out of respect for others’ freedom rights, I
shall keep my promise of freedom from unsolicited
plannerly prose. I shall henceforth post only to the
mail-list and on the Minder.
Two, I am going to seek accountability on Plan
implementation and transparency about lawful Plan
revision and reaffirm support to DDA’s statutory
mandate with the following and wait outside the Master
Plan office (where comments had to be sent) on 14th
afternoon for response to my ‘response’ (see
Over a hundred others have also written to DDA about
suchlike and some of them might join or they might
not. Join us if you like, don’t if you can’t or
wouldn’t. This is not a ‘do’ and this mail is not to
hassle. Feel free!!
I know this won’t ‘change’ what is happening and will
seem puerile or pointless to most, but when there’s
nothing one can do and one can’t do nothing, it is
better to do something to feel better. So.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
On the occasion of Independence Day we seek from our
public authority mandated to mind our Master Plan
ACCOUNTABILITY on Master Plan implementation before
substituting it with a ‘new’ Master Plan
For 40 years land was acquired in Delhi for
development according to Master Plan, for which alone
DDA exists. DDA has not implemented the Plan in public
interest, nor responded to requests and offers of
support for this. The CBI expose of corruption at
Master Plan minding levels, perhaps, explains why it
could not do so. In a politically charged climate, it
has now invited comment on ‘guidelines’ that
completely skirt accountability. We have already
raised objections to the ‘guidelines’, which were
‘recommended’ in 1999, since 2000. These are on
grounds of accountability and have been made also by
legal Public Notice and judicial processes.
***DDA must not allow ‘guidelines’ to become ‘new’
Plan before answering accountability questions.
TRANSPARENCY about lawful Master Plan revision
It is DDA’s right and responsibility to follow due
process for Master Plan revision set out in the Act
and Plan. 40 years of public land acquisition for the
Plan preclude its substitution by radically different
‘guidelines’. Due process does not require
‘guidelines’ but data, expert consideration, limited
consultation and Public Notice. These stages ensure
accountability, quality, coordination and safeguards
and should not be sidestepped. Instead of getting
‘defensive’ about ‘participation’ DDA should demand
only lawful participation at all stages. Any lapse in
process because of what CBI found must be corrected
and not glossed over.
***DDA must take citizens into confidence about the
status of the lawful Master Plan revision
WE REAFFIRM OUR SUPPORT TO DDA’s MANDATE of
development according to Master Plan, inclusive of
Plan revision by due process, with belief in planned
development and with concern about unlawful Plan
revision that seems poised to jeopardize not only
future city development but also governance and
Gita Dewan Verma / Planner / 13.08.03
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