iconimg Monday, April 27, 2015

Sidhartha Roy, Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, December 18, 2012
An upcoming housing colony project for Delhi police personnel in north Delhi has come under flak from environmental activists as the plot is situated on marshland.

The Delhi police residential complex, planned to be spread over 60 acres, is situated in north Delhi’s Dheerpur area, close to the Yamuna river. Of the total area, nearly 20 acres is meant for a water body and a designated district park in Delhi’s Master Plan. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) recently brought a public notice to change the land use of this area to residential from recreational and water body.

“Delhi police personnel definitely deserve better than being provided land for a residential complex on a marshland,” said Manoj Misra, convenor of the NGO Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan. “According to the Master Plan, this area falls under Zone C and is part of marshland, which is designated for recreational use and as a water body. The DDA now wants to convert it into residential area,” he said.

Misra said the Delhi government should permanently delineate wetlands so that their land use can never be changed for any other purpose. “The Dheerpur scheme is yet another example of a systematic conversion of city’s water bodies into non compatible land uses,” he said.

The NGO has written to the Delhi lieutenant-governor, who is also the DDA chairman, requesting him to intervene.

The DDA is yet to take a final decision and through the notice, it has invited suggestions and objections from people. It has mandated that after the land use is changed, nearly one third of the total 60 acres would have to be maintained as green area and construction of buildings would only be allowed to Master Plan norms and permissible floor-area ratio.

DDA officials couldn’t be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts.