The following is the text of a letter that I had sent on 04.02.03 to
Secretary MoUD with copy to DDA Vice Chairman (with additional request of
details of work studies completed by the expert group on industries for
the on-going Plan revision)
Announcement permitting 'all kind of industries' in areas meant for
News reports today and my letter of 29.01.03
In my letter under reference I had requested that my earlier letter of
21.12.02 apropos regularisation of industrial units in 24 residential be
considered a formal objection as news reports of 29.01.03 suggested that
an announcement to this effect was imminent and I thought I had missed the
Public Notice. It now appears a committee has been constituted to look
into this aspect and, I presume, a Public Notice has not been issued. At
the same time, the announcement under reference has been made without
Public Notice. I would like to now request, especially if MoUD plans to
announce the regularisation also without Public Notice, that my letter of
21.12.02 be placed before the committee.
In my letter under reference I had also said that my contentions apropos
the Plan and Act also apply to the proposal to declare SSI areas as
extensive industrial areas, which is how newspapers described the imminent
announcement, inasmuch as the Plan has explicit limiting provisions
vis-à-vis extensive industries. Frankly, I am taken aback by the
suddenness of this announcement in respect of industrial areas of Lawrence
Road, Wazirpur, Naraina Phase I, Naraina Phase II and GT Karnal Road, and
wish to place on record, yet again, objection to what is being done to my
Newspapers today have variously reported this announcement as follows:
All kinds of industries have been permitted in these industrial areas
(Pioneer), except categories G and H (Express Newsline, Asian Age),
subject only to adherence to environmental control norms / clearance from
DPCC (Pioneer, Express Newsline)
All kinds of industries were allowed in other industrial areas of the city
(Pioneer) in July 2001 (Times of India) / last year (Hindustan Times) and
the decision has come on persistent requests from industrial associations,
supported by Delhi government as well as Delhi BJP (Pioneer).
More than 10,000 industries (Express Newsline, Asian Age) / workers
(Hindustan Times) will have the advantage to change trade and
manufacturing (Express Newsline, Asian Age, Pioneer), boosting the economy
(Express Newsline, Pioneer) and ending inspector raj (Express Newsline)
A notification has been issued (Pioneer); an amendment has been done in
the Master Plan (Pioneer); public notice was not issued (Express
Newsline); DDA VC 'maintained that since the new Masterplan is being
prepared, all such notifications or proposals can be absorbed without an
amendment' (Express Newsline).
The five industrial areas covered by the announcement were all earmarked
'Light Industrial Areas' for specific industrial activities. Wazirpur,
Naraina Ph.2 and GT Karnal Road industrial areas were meant for Group-I
industries (a. Cotton, wool, silk & synthetic fibre, textile products, and
b. Furniture, fixtures, other wood & paper products). Naraina Ph.1 was
meant for Group-II industries (a. Electric & electronic appliances and b.
Leather & fur product, rubber, plastic & petroleum products). Lawrence
Road was meant for food, allied & compatible units in category G-I. (p.13
of the Master Plan).
For light industries the Plan earmarked at least five types of space: (a)
1533 Ha spread over 16 new estates in urban extensions, (b) flatted
factories in sites already proposed in 1962, (c) service centres, (d)
planned commercial centres, (e) space created in existing industrial areas
by shifting H-category and F-category units out. I have asked for details
of how much of this space has been developed, but have not received any
response, even though mandatory monitoring data and, at the moment other
mandatory planning data for the on-going Plan revision should be
available. I am inclined to assume that industrial space for light
industries has not been developed according to Plan and that this is why
most units are in places not meant for them. Naturally, any Plan
modification in respect of industrial land must first take into account
'backlog' of light industries citywide.
The Plan designated 5 of the existing light industrial areas and 6 of the
16 new ones proposed for specific industries. The Plan does not explicate
the rationale for this, but two types of planning rationale are likely.
One certain types of units, such as Group-II, had come up in excess of
what was earlier anticipated, requiring special areas to be marked out.
Two, certain areas had lower nuisance-handling or infrastructure capacity
than others, requiring limiting of range of units permissible to those of
a mutually compatible nature. Naturally, any modification to the Plan
relating to special industrial areas must carefully consider the
entitlements of specific types of units citywide, especially since the new
special areas appear not to have been developed, and the characteristics
of the special industrial areas.
From the foregoing perspective, permit me to raise some questions about
1. Why have F-category (extensive industrial) units been permitted in
these (light industrial) areas when there is shortage of light industrial
land in the city and when the Plan required F-category units to be moved
out to extensive industrial areas, including 2 new ones over 265 Ha?
2. Are post-1990 F-category units also being 'regularised' vide this
announcement even though the Plan expressly disallows new F-category
units? And, if so, why are these units that came up unauthorisedly in
planned space meant for other units being condoned even as units for whom
the space was meant are being offered inferior options?
3. Are G-category units being disallowed even in Lawrence Road, although
they are the ones who are entitled not only to space in it but also to
shifting out of all other units incompatible with them?
4. Why is a reference being made to exclusion of H-category units when all
these are supposed to have already been shifted out as per the Supreme
Court order of 1996? Or to DPCC clearance, etc, when this is mandatory
5. What Plan modification was made in July 2001 / last year? Specifically,
does it permit F-category units in light industrial areas?
6. Which industrial associations have been making 'persistent requests'
for this announcement? Specifically, do they represent the special units
entitled to benefits of being in special areas and likely to suffer on
account of other units being regularised therein?
7. Why are prior approvals and 'persistent requests' being cited as basis
for a Plan modification decision, when the Act requires civic survey basis
and the Plan requires monitoring basis? Specifically, on what planning
data and detailed micro-studies is this decision based?
8. What exactly have benefits like flexibility for a few units, etc, have
to do with citywide Plan goals for industrial development?
9. What is meant by 'advantage to change trade and manufacturing',
considering commercial use in industrial areas is not permitted and
DDA/MoUD's proposal of last year to this effect has been struck down by
the Supreme Court?
10. What are the costs / implications of this announcement for Plan goals
/ targets (especially those pertaining to special industrial areas / light
industrial areas), for entitlements of special units and for
characteristics / constraints of the special areas? Do 'benefits'
sufficiently outweigh costs?
Apropos status / legality:
11. How can a Plan modification have been made without issuing Public
Notice inviting objections and suggestions in accordance with s.11A of
Delhi Development Act?
12. What is meant by DDA VC's remark that 'since the new Masterplan is
being prepared, all such notifications or proposals can be absorbed
without an amendment'? On what legal basis can any notification be issued
without mandatory public scrutiny and comment to create fait-accompli
situations for the Plan revision? On the contrary, shouldn't piece-meal
modifications amounting to pre-empting holistic revision, besides
truncating opportunity for public participation from 90 days to 30 days,
be avoided altogether?
I would be grateful for a response to the foregoing questions and also a
copy of the notification.
Gita Dewan Verma