1,500 Delhi colonies regularised with master plan notification
Feb 8, 2007, 11:30 GMT
New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) In a first step as part of the just-notified Delhi Master Plan 2021, the union cabinet Thursday regularised more than 1,500 unauthorised Delhi colonies that had come up during the last 30 years.
The regularisation was incorporated in the city's master plan notified by the urban development ministry late Wednesday.
Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the colonies 'have come up in an unauthorised manner over the past three decades on both government as well as private agricultural land due to the high rate of migration into the national capital territory of Delhi and the huge increase in the demand for housing outpacing the supply of planned housing stock.'
While the new master plan also provides for regularisation of more affluent colonies like Sainik farms, Anantram Dairy and Mahendra Enclave, the cabinet decision Thursday involves mostly the not-so-well off people living in slums and similar shanty colonies that have mushroomed in different parts of the National Capital Territory, said Reddy. Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken was also present.
The regularisation of these 1,500 colonies is part of 'major policy initiatives' incorporated in the master plan, said the document. The plan aims at 'housing to be developed through a mix of redensification, redevelopment and creation of new housing in urban extension (about 20,000 hectares). Provision of homes also made for the elderly, night shelters and hostels.'
The minister stressed that 'emphasis would be on housing for the urban poor'. He denied a suggestion from newsmen that various features outlined by him verbally and in his note pointed to a clear bias in favour of traders and builders.
The new plan encourages the builder to acquire land in slums and give a fraction of the flats built there to the economically weaker sections thus displaced. Similarly, commercial activity will now be permitted in more and more residential colonies. In addition the plan permits setting up commercial establishments in industrial areas, 'provided it is on an 80 feet road'.
The paper on the master plan stated that 'flexible land use through mixed use policy has been strengthened with a view to meeting the demand for space for retail trade, health facilities, pre-primary schools, tuition centres, guest houses and banks in residential areas'.
Simultaneously, the plan removed the restriction on banquet halls and the holding of private and marriage parties in Sainik farms or other private farms spread around the periphery of Delhi.
It also provides relief to existing shopping centres in Connaught Place, Karol Bagh or Chandni Chowk by removing height restrictions except a mandatory provision of 10 percent space for service and repair activities.
The minister, however, insisted that the perceived burden on civic amenities due to this sudden explosion provided for in the Master Plan Delhi 2021 has been envisaged and taken care of.
He said there would be emphasis on environment friendly policies and rejuvenation of the river Yamuna.
Reddy ruled out the courts striking down any provisions of the master plan, saying: 'I have absolute confidence that MPD 2021 will stand legal scrutiny' and will soon be 'put through a regulatory place very shortly. I can't give a timeframe though', he added.
© 2007 Indo-Asian News Service