The recent sealing of shops at Gaffar Market and the threat of further sealing has once again raised the issue of lack of redevelopment plan for special areas in the city.
This, a year after the deadline for coming up with a special area redevelopment plan got over and got extended. And the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) along with other organisations is still struggling with the task. The result: Woes of the public at Chandni Chowk, Sadar Paharganj and Karol Bagh are set to persist for more time.
Due to such delays, the areas are getting plagued with encroachment, traffic congestion and a faulty sewage system, laid nearly a century ago. In the absence of a plan to govern the land-use, in Paharganj and Karol Bagh, new guest houses and hotels keep coming up. In Chandni Chowk, new trades are being opened, while the existing infrastructure is incapable of supporting the extension. This has been leading to frequent clashes between authorities and residents/ traders. Meanwhile, the zonal plan gathers dust with the MCD waiting for the redevelopment plan in order to start implementing guidelines.
"The zonal plan has already been submitted by DDA but MCD, the implementing body, is yet to do anything about it. The draft of the redevelopment plan makes it clear that industrial units that produce toxic substances should be removed from the area but paper factories still run there," said Sanjay Bhargav, general secretary, Chandni Chowk Sarv Vypar Mandal.
In order to expedite the process, MCD last year had written to the urban development ministry but till date no reply has been received. The draft of the special area redevelopment plan is currently with the DDA, awaiting suggestions from them. While a few have been received, the whole proposal is yet to come. When the Master Plan Delhi 2021 was created in 2007, a 'redevelopment plan' was to be formed for these areas within three years' time.
"The areas were created before the first master plan made in 1962. Hence, they were not governed by any rules. Apart from the master plan, the ward-wise local area plan is also going to be made in association with the traders and RWAs," said Subhash Arya, leader of the MCD House.