With the Supreme Court having stayed the amendments it had proposed to Master Plan for Delhi 2021 on Tuesday, Delhi Development Authority is in the process of submitting an affidavit in the court on the status of environmental impact assessment of the proposed amendments. The top brass of DDA have also scheduled a meeting with the Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri today to have a discussion on the issue.
“The minister has said that whatever amendments we propose will be brought before the honourable court and we are in the process of submitting an affidavit,” said DDA vice-chairman Udai Pratap Singh.
A DDA official said that the affidavit would answer the apex court’s query on whether DDA had undertaken a study of the environmental impact of the proposed amendments to allow commercial activities in residential and non-commercial areas.
Apart from the environmental impact, the court also wondered whether any steps had been taken for effective management of traffic in consultation with Delhi Police in view of the proposed changes and whether fire safety measures and access to fire services had been considered. The court also asked DDA about parking facilities, civic amenities, particularly the availability of water, management of sewage and solid waste and the structural safety of buildings. The court also wanted to know whether information or statistics was available with the pollution control board with regard to pollution in Delhi from 2006 onward to consider when roads were being notified for mixed or commercial use.
In the amendments to the master plan approved by DDA recently, shops in local shopping complexes were to be allowed a uniform floor area ratio of 350 at par with commercial areas, basements were to be permitted for commercial use and land-use conversion charges were to be rationalised.
“Finalising and bringing in the amendments was a big exercise as the aim was not only to provide relief to traders but also heed the concerns of residents of affected areas,” a senior DDA official said. “We have taken ample care that the relief proposed is under the ambit of law. Also, care has been taken to mitigate environmental concerns, pollution, uncontrolled growth of commercialisation in residential areas, and similar concerns.”
The official added that regulatory measures had also been introduced in the master plan. These included steps such as restriction on the entry and exit into and from a commercial plot, prevention on placement of any outdoor air-conditioning units and exhausts on public lanes and residential streets and changes in on-street parking charges.