Industries' regularisation: Questions about the Committee
Gita Dewan Verma / Planner / 08.02.03


The following is the text of the letter I have sent to Secretary MoUD
today. The news report referred to is at the end. More on the
regularisation moves at <http://www.architexturez.net/+/e/000117.shtml>

 

LETTER TO SECRETARY, MoUD

Sub:
Committee set up to study the proposal for regularisation of illegal
industries in residential areas and announcement made re regularisation of
illegal units in special industrial areas
Ref:
'Nothing on paper for BJP's promises' by Ms Sreelatha Menon. Express
Newsline, 06.02.03 and my letters of  01.11.02, 21.12.02, 29.01.03 and
04.02.03

Sir,

Permit me to recall to you that in my letter of 01.11.02 I had requested
that pursuant to the Court's directions about misuse DDA/MoUD place before
it details of all 2000 Ha of planned industrial space in Delhi. This was
reiterated in my letter of 04.12.02 and mentioned in subsequent letters.
In my letter of 21.12.02 I posited that sweeping regularisation of units
in residential areas is a Plan modification beyond jurisdiction of DDA
and, at present, even MoUD. On 29.01.03, when regularisation was
'announced' I filed this letter as an objection, assuming mandatory Public
Notice had been issued. On 04.02.03, following announcement of
regularisation of illegal units in special industrial areas and Committee
for illegal units in residential areas, I wrote to raise 12 questions
about the former and ask that my letter of 21.12.02 be placed before the
Committee for the latter.

The news item under reference says: "case on illegal use of industrial
land for commercial purposes was in Supreme Court, and the Ministry has
already given an affidavit against regularisation of these illegal units,
the affidavit has to be revised. The committee has been formed to
accomplish this".

Permit me to make one general observation first. I am only a planner, but
it appears to me that the affidavit relating to illegal use of industrial
land has little bearing on the matter of illegal industries on residential
land. If anything, the affidavit makes the announcement already made to
regularise illegal units in special industrial areas in contempt of court.
I think a clarification to the people on this point is in order. In
general, I'd like to reiterate my contention, spelt out in my letter of
01.11.02, that the problem of unplanned industries cannot be solved in a
'land-less' way and must be viewed in its entireity in the context of
statutory provisions for 2000 Ha of planned industrial space.

Apropos the Committee, permit me to suggest that the following
clarifications be made to public:

(1)        (If the Committee has been set up to revise the earlier affidavit, as
claimed by Delhi BJP Chief) what justifies the decision (and, in turn, the
Committee) that the affidavit 'has to be revised'?

(2)        (If the Committee has been set up to 'study the recommendations made
by DDA', as reported by the press on 04.02.03) on what basis has MoUD
decided that these 'recommendations' were not made without jurisdiction,
as posited in my letter of 21.12.02, and are worthy of 'study'?

(3)        (In either case) how does the Committee 'fit' in to the statutory
process of the Master Plan revision, especially the work of the expert
group on industries? In particular:
(a)        Are representatives of, especially, DoNCTD and DDA members of the
industries' expert group for Plan revision or otherwise conversant with
(mandatory) monitoring and survey data?
(b)        Since NCRPB draft plan for 2021 reportedly makes proposals contrary to
regularisation proposals, how will the Committee address this
contradiction as NCRPB is not represented?
(c)        Do the Committee's ToR refer to implementation status of Master Plan
provisions for 2000 Ha of industrial space and (existing) NCR Plan
proposals for industries?

As an aside, permit me also to make two small remarks apropos
justification of regularisation of illegal land use quoted in the news
report as "whether you regularise it or not, their existence cannot be
denied. If you regularise, you will be able to tax them." One, DDA is
vested with sufficient powers to act against unplanned development, which
is part and parcel of its mandate to secure planned development. Two, the
'logic' of condoning illegality to raise money is not only untenable but
also dangerous.

Yours sincerely...

 

 

NEWS REPORT REFERRED TO IN THE LETTER

Express Newsline, 06.02.03
NOTHING ON PAPER FOR BJP'S PROMISES
http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=42976

Sreelatha Menon
New Delhi, February 5: BJP Delhi president Madan Lal Khurana is trying to
look confident but the three major decisions taken at his behest by Union
Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar have not been notified.
So, there is nothing official about the Ministry legalising seven
alterations in DDA flats, declaring 24 residential areas in the Capital as
industrial and changing the status of five ''light'' industrial zones to
fully industrial ones.
Khurana says the announcements mean that the policy changes have been
made, but there is no clue when they will become effective. The legal
status of these areas or the violations in DDA flats is the same as
before.
For example, industries set up illegally in 24 residential areas were to
turn legal overnight with a notification by Ananth Kumar on February 3.
But it appears that legal advice coming from the office of the Solicitor
General of India reminded the Ministry of an ongoing court case. Kumar
immediately handed over the matter to a committee but went ahead with the
announcement nonetheless.
Contrary to Khurana's claims that a part of the revised Masterplan would
be released in advance to allow regularisation, nothing of the sort has
been done as yet. To add insult to injury, party MPs like Jagmohan have
openly criticised his mindless bid to regularise all that is illegal.
Khurana's supporters put up a brave front but some of them say that he has
no one to blame but himself for the possible embarrassment the party may
have to face if things don't go the way Kumar has announced in public.
Khurana's critics say he is so impatient to grab the chief minister's
chair that he is ''recklessly making promises and giving deadlines without
even thinking if they are practical,'' say his supporters.
What Khurana, they feel, is not taking into account is that the government
alone cannot frame policies for these regularisation moves. Pending cases
have to be taken into account.
Also, a report is awaited from the Nanavati Commission, which was set up
in the past to suggest remedies for Delhi's unplanned development and
gross violations of the Masterplan.
Khurana denies that there has been a climbdown in the case of industries.
It was just a matter of delay, he says. ''We met the Solicitor General. He
advised us that since the case on illegal use of industrial land for
commercial purposes was in Supreme Court, and the Ministry has already
given an affidavit against regularisation of these illegal units, the
affidavit has to be revised. The committee has been formed to accomplish
this,'' he said.
Defend regularisation of illegal land use, he says: ''Whether you
regularise it or not, their existence cannot be denied. If you regularise,
you will be able to tax them.''
The Congress, meanwhile, has begun raking up the issue in public. Party
leaders have started referring to Khurana as Ghoshna Lal (announcement)
Khurana.