DDA had scheduled two public hearings (Friday 25.08.06
and Monday 28.08.06) for about 250 responses received
in the 30-days time on the Public Notices published on
22 & 23.07.06 for amending MPD-2001 DC Norms for
residential plotted development (to relax them for
one-time-regularisation) and MPD-2001 DC clause-10
mixed use regulations (to substitute those with a
mixed-use-policy based on acknowledging the need to
use land for purposes other than planned).

Staff told (and the Board confirmed) that more
responses are being received and more hearings might
be scheduled. (someone mentioned 1800, but no one else
confirmed that and no could tell why responses were
being accepted past the 30-days allowed by the public
notices)

For the hearing at 3PM on 25.08.06 I had received two
identical invitation letters (and found my name listed
twice in the attendance sheet, at nos 67 & 68). The
letters were dated 23.08.06 and reached me on 24.08.06
(I found them slipped under my door). Despite the
short notice, over a hundred people had shown up (the
list suggested similar to ones who had shown up before
the Tejinder Khanna and Bhure Lal Committees and I
asked if those who had made suggestions to TKC had
been separated -- as they were now filing
objections/suggestions to proposals based on their
suggestions -- and was told they had not been
separated.

The hearing had not begun till after 3:30PM, which was
when I reached the Conference Hall on the Ground Floor
in Vikas Sadan. It was announced that it would take
place in batches in the Conference Room on First
Floor. My batch was called around 5:15 PM.

The Board was DDA VC, DDA EM & TCPO Chief Planner.
(MCD Chief Planner and DDA Commissioner (Plg) were
sitting on either side and on my turn I confirmed they
were not on my Board. The Board is fine, even if this
is seen as part of DMPD-2021 process, as the three
were on that Board and are enough for quorum and,
unlike for say Virender Kasana, bias also cannot quite
be alleged)

The Board confirmed that the invitation was not for a
joint public notice dt 21.07.06 (as suggested by the
letter) but for joint hearing of the two public
notices published on 22 & 23.07.06. In the course of
my presentation I mentioned that joint-hearing of
public notices was not according to rules. I also
asked if we were in the MPD-2021 process, as the
invitations had come from an officer in MPD-2021
office in Vasant Kunj and not the MP section in Vikas
Minar. I was told the proposed amendments were to
MPD-2001. I said so was DMPD-2021 and contended that
the mixed-use public notice was either for amendment
to MPD-2021 as part-notified (in violation of the Act)
by the Maken notification dt 28.03.06 or part
renotification of the DMPD-2021 public notice. I also
asked if we were having partly a post-facto hearing in
view of the Tejinder Khanna Committee proposal in
public notice dt 23.07.06 already having been partly
notified under the Delhi Special Act by the MOUD
notification dt 18.08.06 that (is not available on MUD
or DDA or MCD websites but) is mentioned in the MCD
Public Notice in TOI p.5 dt 25.08.06 issued, as per
news reports of 24.08.06, on directions of the Bhure
Lal Committee. I also wondered if the hearing, being
held under law suspended by the Delhi Special Law, was
valid at all.

DDA VC exported my queries about the chaos to the
planners in the room, who declared them valid points.

My main question was why was DDA holding this
jan-sunwayi. The irritable use of the term jan-sunwayi
arose from speakers before me raising, besides the
demands that have become the compromise proposals for
relaxations and conditions, wholly extraneous issues
(eg, regularization of unauthorized additions in
flats, permissibility of amalgamation, etc). But the
question arose directly from my sole technical
suggestion dt 18.08.06, viz, that chaps take recourse
to powers under section 57 of the DD Act (ie, powers
to make regulations in respect of plan violations)
instead of abusing section 11A to make the city
accomplice in obnoxious bhagidaari abuse of outcomes
of judicial exercises to tamper with the law.

I had also suggested in my suggestion dt 18.08.06
detailed consideration/hearing of my sole technical
suggestion, on grounds of having unmatched
subject-specific expertise. As such, at the hearing I
declared I would take more than the 1-minute that I
was proportionately expected to take on account of
responses not having been screened in the haste.

I ran through the history of mixed use notices and
notifications since 1990 to underscore the consistent
attempts to liberalise zoning, all without a single
precedent of recourse to s.11A (not counting the
peculiar Maken notification of 28.03.06) and
questioned the insertion of policy into development
code. For the public notice dt 22.08.06 I questioned
insertion of One-Time-Regularisation into development
code (which would mean a code with two sets of norms
around a cut-off date for OTR, which would practically
impossible to enforce). I demanded the deletion in any
event from the policy proposal dt 23.07.06 of its
opening acknowledgment of need to use land for
purposes other than planned as something vitiating the
rest of the Plan. On grounds of absurd starting
premise, I also questioned the policy proposal and the
expertise of the TKC (mentioning that EFN Ribeiro had
been judged guilty of professional misconduct by
Council of Architecture and referring also to the
public notice dt 15.08.06 for the farmhouse
regularisation committee containing him and also
Director TVBSHS AGK Menon, of which CIC has directed
review).

My sole technical suggestion dt 18.08.06 was filed on
heels of my vehement citizen objection dt 11.08.06 to
Maken announcing notification-by date (which objection
I strongly reiterated with reference to the
never-before haste in hearing and never before
two-in-one hearing). My objection dt 11.08.06 had also
demanded expeditious reply to my original polite
response dt 04.08.06. In that I had requested DDA
Secretary to clarify certain techno-legal issues or
treat the questions as preliminary objections if he
believed the public notices dt 22 & 23.07.06 were
legal and proper. That was accompanied by a couple of
things, including an application in ambit of s.41(3)
to DDA VC urging him to satisfy himself of legality
and propriety of the exercise of powers under s.11A
for such proposals.

At the hearing I fussed about not having been given
the clarifications sought on 04.08.06 even as the
public notices ought to have offered details for
inspection. DDA VC said Addnl Commissioner (Plg) would
provide reply and I could file detailed response. I
said I am not into endless-seminar-style and would not
file anything past the time that had been allowed in
the public notice. I asked to be told, now that they
were having this hearing, how they had satisfied
themselves of legality and propriety of favouring
s.11A over s.57 and s.11A(1) (ie by DDA) over s.11A(2)
(ie, by MOUD).  I was told they would discuss this
issue with MOUD. I pointed out that MOUD (and MCD and
Delhi Govt) are duly represented on the Authority and
on its Boards for public notices while actively
subverting its Act and the public notice process,
including the present one (citing the MCD Public
Notice referring to MOUD notification dt 18.08.06
under the Delhi Spl Law). I asked that I be intimated
by early next week whether or not the Authority is
withdrawing from s.11A in these proposals as I might
want to move court if MOUD notifies them under s.11A.
I was told I would be intimated.

Asides:
Some RWA type had interrupted to take the mike to say
he agreed with the lady and to take off about how DDA
was to blame. I complained that I was not blaming
anybody and was being unduly interrupted even as I was
entitled to personal hearing and not seminar-style
discussion and was allowed to resume.  Another RWA
type had demanded some sweeping further relaxation on
behalf of all in an area I know from case study in
mixed-use thesis besides otherwise and in course of my
hearing I had mentioned also the problem of these
ill-informed association types claiming representation
and how it marginalizes individual / independent
opinion and thus doubly compounds the problem of
abrogation of survey-analysis responsibilities by/via
participatory expert-committees. I had, however,
clarified that exercising s.57 instead of s.11A could
help iron out several of the conflicts that had been
abetted over the recent months through uninformed
participatory discourse on the problem. I noticed that
besides the officials some of those among the public
seemed to see I had some point. Two wanted to say
something as I left, but I have nothing to say to
chaps who see these two public notice proposals,
frontal attacks on fundamentals of planning law, in
terms of petty self-righteous amenity and expediency
issues.

btw:
I am quite sure the final notifications will be pushed
through in mission-mode amidst more chaos on account
of the MCD Public Notice that moves the sealing
deadline up to 31 August.  And I am aware of a humble
one that three had filed on 21.08.06 in the high court
in the matter.