Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Point by Point Rebuttal of DDA Affidavit: Rajiv Kakria

Point by Point Rebuttal of DDA Affidavit

1.    Shrinking space needs mixed land use so that commercial activity can happen near residences
-          There are ample Land Parcels and Vacant Shops in DDA Commercial Centers. All planned colonies have LSC/CSC/CC for daily needs and recreation. PRESENTLY THERE IS NO INCENTIVE BUSINESSES OR PROFESSIONAL FIRMS TO MOVE TO COMMERCIAL AREAS. People prefer to open Commercial Establishments & Law Firms etc in Residential Areas as presently the cost of such Acquisition is 75% lower compared to LSC/CSC/CC. The Conversion Charges (Rs. 6,136/-per sqm) and Cost of Land are much lower, even Provision of Parking Space is the responsibility of the Authorities, then where is the incentive to operate from a Commercial area (Rs.22,000/-sqm).  NOTIFIED COMMERCIAL ZONES ARE LANGUISHING AND DESERTED DUE TO THIS OVERSIGHT IN THE MASTER PLAN.
-       Timings of Commercial Areas are in conflict with Residential Tranquility. Restriction of Closing Time as in the case of RULES OF ALLOTMENT OF CHAMBERS IN HC/SC from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM should be enforced on Professionals operating in Residential Areas.
2.      Vertical growth of city in tandem with international practices
-          International Practices are devised keeping Geographical Parameters like Seismic Zones, Air Displacement due to Proximity to Sea (remember SMOG), Monsoon Patterns, Proximity to a River for Availability of Water, Green Buffer Zones to curb Soil Erosion etc. In addition Solid Waste Management, Sewage Disposal, Power Supply, Parking, Road Network’s Carrying Capacity, Availability of Schools/Colleges/Hospitals etc. must be ensured. DETERMINATION OF DWELLING DENSITY/CARRYING CAPACITY FORMS THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE OF MASTER PLAN PROVISIONS.
3.      Modification of Master Plan with future perspective
-          Master Plan is devised for Future Needs of its inhabitants to begin with, HEALTH and QUALITY OF LIFE is the prerequisite around which facilities are provided. Agreed one Shoe Fits All Approach is flawed, therefore ZONAL PLANS were to be made after Scientific Surveys, these Zonal Plans are still on the Drawing Boards after a Decade of MPD-2021 came into being.
4.      Shelter and livelihood issues cannot be neglected
-          Shelter in a Safe, Peaceful & Tranquil environment should be the basis for residential planning. Social Fabric is disturbed when inhabitants have contrasting requirements, be that Time of Operation, Usage of Common Spaces, Security Apparatus or Infrastructure Requirements. World over people go to the hustle bustle of Malls, Offices, Industries for Livelihood and return to their Peaceful Shelter.
5.      DDA Act does not mandate environment impact assessment for modifying master plan
-          ENVIRONMENT for DDA’s information comprises of AIR, WATER & SUNLIGHT. The making of the First Master Plan was ENTRUSTED TO THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAMILY PLANNING (now WELFARE). The Building Bye-Laws were devised keeping the abutting Road Width in mind, so that the Shadow of a Building in Front does not fall on the Building Opposite to it so that the inhabitants get ample SUNLIGHT for Healthy Living. The Height of a Building and number of Dwelling Units allowed were in keeping the AIR DISPLACEMENT PARAMETERS in mind to contain the Spread of Air Borne Communicable Diseases. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO NOTE SUPREME COURTS RESPONSE TO THIS POINT ………. DO WE NEED SUCH EMBARRASSMENT ???
6.      Outdoor AC units won’t extrude and exhaust ducts won’t open directly towards public lane or face residential plot
-          Nothing New, Building By-Laws do not permit any projections outside the PLOTLINE. But who is overseeing this Blatant Violation ???
7.      Liquor shops and pubs won’t be allowed even in mixed-used areas. Such establishments would have to relocate within six months from notification date
-          The existing Provisions of MPD-2021 do not allow Liquor shops and pubs in Mixed Land Use areas and LSC’s in within Residential Areas. Multiple clearances are needed from multiple agencies, why were these agencies ignorant of MPD Provisions while giving Licenses ???
8.      Traffic control, parking and other infrastructure to be provided by service providing agencies
-          Conversion Charges were collected, albeit unscientifically and were placed in ESCROW Accounts to be used for Infrastructure Development of specific areas. There is no disclosure of Amount collected nor has any Infrastructure been augmented since 2006. Only 8 Parking Lots have been made across Delhi which are lying disused.
9.      Where parking isn’t available, area to be treated a pedestrian shopping streets
-          Various Agencies entrusted to implement the Law have failed to prevent blatant violations even on Wide Master Plan Roads, how can they ensure Pedestrian discipline in interiors, while they have miserably failed to clear Foot Paths and On Street Parking despite Supreme Court Orders.
 10.  One-way traffic movement may also be planned within colonies
-          One way Traffic movement, wherever implemented has only created one more Parking Lane for the Parking Lot Operator to Profit and has done little to ease traffic movement in the absence of Traffic Police.
Further, we welcome Supreme Court questioning the reduction of Conversion Charges. We have maintained that there should be MISUSER PAYS POLICY ….. NOT THE TAXPAYERWhat Scientific Methodology has been used for calculation of Conversion Charges for the provision of additional Infrastructure necessitated due to extra FAR, so that the burden of the cost of such infrastructure does not fall on 1.50 Crore Citizens of Delhi by way of additional Taxes?

Development Norms in the Master Plan once finalized after careful analysis and study of the Impact on Quality of Life and Environment should be sacrosanct and not be tinkered with, at least for the duration for which it has been framed. Thereafter also Master Plan must ensure that areas that have been declared Residential must remain so, to provide a Secure, Peaceful and Healthy Habitat for citizens.

Rajiv Kakria

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