Mr PK Pradhan,
JS (Delhi Division), MoUD

Dear Mr Pradhan,

I just noticed a news item on ToI web edition (posted
14 Feb) about an MoUD nominated 5-member expert panel
to "look into the court driven demolitions" underway
in Delhi, quoting Mr Ajay Maken saying MoUD "will ask
MCD to file an affidavit in the court with the
proposed names":
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1415187.cms
One of the 2 technical experts proposed is "EFN
Ribeiro, well-known architect". As far as I know, EFN
Ribeiro is no-more architect. Council of Architecture
barred him from practice last year. That would make
nominating him as Architect illegal in terms of the
Architects Act. This is for your information.

For my information, please provide me facts of and
reasons for MoUD decision to nominate EFN Ribeiro as
expert in a Delhi matter - under s.4(1)(d) r/w
s.4(1)(c) of RTI Act, in view of the following:

1. EFN Ribeiro (with another) of Asso of urban
management & development agencies, AuMDA (which was
asso of metropolitan development authorities before he
became its director) is named first among Consultants
to MPD-2021. If that had been drafted as per
provisions the Act and MPD, no such panel would have
been needed. MPD-2021 is reportedly to be finalised
soon for MoUD approval. My applications of 01 Oct'05
under s.41(3) of DD Act and of 21 Dec'05 under
s.4(1)(d) of RTI Act about the Board for it have not
been disposed off.

2. EFN Ribeiro was Consultant to USAID-made MCD
Amendment Bill / new-byelaws exercise that claims also
MoUD support. The court orders are for enforcing
existing byelaws as per existing MCD Act. The conflict
is glaring and MoUD nomination of EFN Ribeiro
perplexing also because of transfer by MoUD to MCD of
my RTI query about the USAID-MCD exercise proceeding
from one oral order and 1 cr from USAID
(K-11013/29/2005-DDIB dated 09 Jan'06).

3. EFN Ribeiro's private firm is making for MCD Vasant
Vihar Local-Area-Plan for/by area-specific-byelaws,
with basis only in USAID-MCD Bill. This is assailed in
Rejoinder to MCD counter-affidavit in PIL for MPD
implementation for urban villages. MoUD has not
replied in that. MCD has not replied, in context of
that, to RTI requests about compliance of demolition
orders in respect of projects that PIL has shown are
unauthorised (but MPD-2021 / LAP could regularise).

4. EFN Ribeiro in an open-letter of 24 Aug'04 to MoUD
Secy (AuMDA patron), had claimed AuMDA had nothing to
do with MPD-2021 (which says otherwise) and that he
knew little about two Delhi Govt projects. I had said
in my letter of Jun'04 to MoUD Secy that these two are
ridge and riverbed violations of MPD-2001. I had
written to MoUD Secy because MoUD has MPD
responsibility and MPD-violating projects had been
honoured by one Indian Building Congress of which MoUD
Secy is patron. I do not know why EFN Ribeiro
(similarly honoured by that Congress, for a project in
Gujarat) wrote to MoUD Secy to defend/obfuscate Delhi
projects/violations that he said he knew little about
while also denying AuMDA role in MPD. I also do not
know if he conveyed to MoUD Secy my plannerly
clarifications to which he himself did not reply. MoUD
Secy also did not write to inform me of the
appropriate action that President's Sectt had asked
him (in Jun'04) to take on my letter in the matter.
Pendency of that was one of my objections to the
proposal of Sep'04 to regularise a commercial IT Park
built on the riverbed by DMRC (of which MoUD Secy is
Chairman). One of the Public Notices whose disposal is
impugned in my writ petition is that one.
Counter-affidavits show IT Park is fit case for
exemplary compliance of demolition orders.

5. The only writ petition I have ever filed on my own
behalf (the one mistaken for some PIL against a 6-Ha
IT Park) is targeted against subversion of the
planning process by authorities and attendant spawning
of unethical professional practices. In its
counter-affidavit MoUD has urged dismissal with costs.
I think I have far better grounds, of huge cost
already borne, to urge dismissal of those who take
from positions of authority in the Ministry of Urban
Development advantage of loose-characters in urban
development professions for extraneous pursuits - in
the instant case, in defiance of the authority of the
profession's Council and with apparent intent to
tamper with the authority of the Court.

I also urge MoUD to publish / provide the following
information:
* particulars of all positions held by MoUD Secy,
whether Minister of State has charge of Delhi
Division, and names of all empanelled / appointed /
nominated experts having anything to do with functions
of Delhi Division
* view on my suggestion to designate DDA as JnNURM
SLNA for Delhi (as Delhi Govt, which refuses to accept
it has no mandate for city planning, has made now
typically puerile announcements of its own
Mission-Mode and CDP)
* reply to my RTI queries about JnNURM (now that MoUD
has completed empanelling consultants pursuant to its
JnNURM-CDP tender of Dec'05)
* reply to my RTI queries about USAID-MCD Bill (now
that MoUD has nominated EFN Ribeiro as its own expert
for purpose of advice to MCD and also empanelled for
JnNURM-CDP one of the two USAID consultant firms to
whom MCD had forwarded in Dec'05, for their
consideration and necessary action, my objection of
Nov'05 that led to the RTI query that MoUD transferred
to MCD in Jan'06)  

Perhaps I need to clarify I prefer s.4 of RTI Act
because it is non-adversarial, stipulating neither
timeframe nor penalties. Prof Ribeiro could explain
better than I why those trained to explore the immense
potential of rigidly bound but veritably limitless
flexibilities of framework based planning prefer
non-adversarial approaches, regardless of their
motives. Apropos motives I read, in a situation of
planning practice regulated not by professional law
but by planning law, MoUD responsibility - heightened
in Delhi by the Constitution and at the moment by
GATS. From replies to RTI queries about GATS I gather
MoUD is sole valid stakeholder being consulted about
urban planning services / implications for other
services. I wish you clarity for this unenviable task.

Yours sincerely,
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner

cc:
President, Council of Architecture
for information wrt to letter of Jun'04 about IBC
Awards, at:
http://www.architexturez.net/+/subject-listing/000194.shtml

Commissioner, MCD
for information wrt letters re Bill and demolition
drive, last at:
http://mail.architexturez.net/+/MPISG-Media/archive/msg00921.shtml

Sh M Rajamani, JS (UD) / CPIO MoUD
for information in continuation of prior RTI requests

Sh A K Mehta, Director, MoUD
for information in continuation of prior e-mails re
JnNURM

azplan