DDA has provided no information as to whether the proposal has taken any cognizance of the RWAs' misgivings about the recommendations.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) submitted its recommendations for amendments in the Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2021 to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor's office today, and RWAs that had earlier opposed it may find their voice and suggestions unheard once again.
A DDA official talking to City Spidey confirmed that the final draft of recommendations in MPD-2021 has been sent to the Lieutenant Governor, Anil Baijal, for final approval today. “Final announcement regarding amendments in MPD-2021 will tentatively be made on February 27. The DDA meeting will be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor. I can’t reveal anymore at this stage, as final approval is yet to be received from the Lieutenant Governor, but DDA has prepared the final draft presenting its ideas on all aspects,” the official stated.
On being asked whether DDA included RWAs' views and suggestions in the final draft, the official replied without elaborating, “Not all, but a few of them.”
Earlier on February 2, during a public hearing meeting, representatives from several RWAs had objected to DDA’s proposal of allowing residential areas for commercial purposes. At that time, RWAs had unanimously pointed out that commercial establishments being permitted in residential colonies would be detrimental to the lives of residents in various aspects. RWAs had also said that if it happened, the residential colonies, parks, street within the colonies and other open spaces left in the colonies would turn into a parking space.
In fact, to make RWAs voice stronger on this issue, a campaign ‘Save the City' was also initiated jointly by East Delhi RWA and Greater Kailash I.
Girish Jain, a member of RWA federation in South Delhi’s Vasant Kunj, who was also among those who had opposed proposed amendments, told City Spidey, “It won’t be appropriate to make any comment, as final decision is yet to come, but I would say this that if the proposed amendments are allowed, the quality of life in the residential areas would get degraded.”
Pankaj Agrawal, a member of United Residents Joint Action (URJA), was of the view that RWAs' views were also supported by the Delhi High Court when it had stated, "A few people have held the city to ransom." Earlier on February 12, Delhi High Court while hearing a plea on this matter had observed that, “By sitting on a dharna you can get the master plan changed. Not because it is required, nor after checking if the city can handle it. It done because a few hundred people sit on a dharna.”
The court was referring to the protest held by Delhi traders associations against a month-long sealing drive by municipal bodies against commercial establishments in residential colonies and buildings. The protests had forced the DDA to bring amendments in MPD-2021.
BS Vohra, president of RWA East Delhi, talking to City Spidey today said, “I got a call from DDA to be present on February 27 as Lieutenant Governor will announce the final decision on the day. I have no idea whether RWAs' various suggestions and recommendations were included in the final draft, but it could be that our suggestion to disallow bars and pubs in residential colonies has been included.”