The Delhi High Court has ruled that the Delhi Development Authority will have the final say on land usage pattern in the city and any decision taken by it in this regard cannot be challenged.
"The master plans and zonal plans are prepared by the DDA and they have a statutory flavour. Once the DDA has gone through the formalities required under law in preparing the master plan or zonal plan or in carrying out any modifications therein, the land use of a particular area will stand determined as per the said plans," a bench headed by Justice B.D. Ahmed said.
The court passed the order while setting aside objections raised by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee(DPCC) against DDA's decision to allot 14.3 hectare land to a private developer to build high-end residential apartments in Okhla, South Delhi. Rejecting the contentions of the Forest Department and the DPCC that the area 'Tehkhand' in South Delhi falls under the ridge area, the court said under the master plan Act, land use is determined by the DDA and any other agency or authority cannot raise objection to it.
"When the land owning agency as also the authority that prepares the master plan clearly and categorically states that the land in question does not fall within the ridge area and the land use is residential, we fail to see as to how the DPCC or the Department of Forests, NCT of Delhi, can raise any objection on this account," the bench said.