Both Govt, Oppn unhappy with Master Plan draft | india | Hindustan Times
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Both Govt, Oppn unhappy with Master Plan draft

The government virtually rejected the draft and suggested several changes to make it "people friendly", reports Amitabh Shukla

india Updated: Jan 06, 2007 20:07 IST

The special session of the Delhi Assembly on Saturday began its discussion on the proposed Master Plan.

Even the government virtually rejected the draft and suggested several changes to make it "people friendly".

Urban development and finance minister read out the government resolution. "The House resolves that keeping in view its responsibility towards the people of Delhi, the suggestions of the House be incorporated in the Delhi Master Plan-2021," he said.

The minister's resolution also demanded that the plan document be implemented immediately.

Soon after moving the resolution, Walia initiated the debate asking for changes in several provisions. He said there is paucity of space in the city and there was a need to go vertical.

"When neighbouring cities can have residential apartments 15 to 20 stories high, why can't Delhi," he asked the DDA.

Top officials of the DDA, including Vice Chairman Dinesh Rai, were present in the officer's gallery.

Walia asked for an increase in the number of stories to four and sought permission for the use of basements for commercial activities.

On regularisation of unauthorised colonies, the minister asked for the implementation of the policy of 1977, in which only water, power and sewerage charges were levied and not the present proposal which talks of "redevelopment".

The Treasury Benches also asked for one-time amnesty scheme of regularising what is not covered under the Master Plan, like permission to run schools, clinics and diagnostic labs and liberal mixed land use policy.

The Opposition, the BJP, practically echoed the line of the government but added some more points. Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi demanded that the "anti-people" suggestions in the MPD be taken back immediately.

He also pointed towards several contradictions and inconsistencies in the proposed draft and asked for its rectification.

NCP MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri expressed apprehension that the DDA would throw the suggestions in the waste paper basket and asked for the intervention of the chief minister to ensure that they were incorporated as amendments in the MPD.

Bidhuri asked for the extension of Lal Dora in the villages, a sum of Rs 10 crore for each village to make them model villages, no conversion charges from the pre-1962 markets, permission to professionals to work from any floor of the house, etc.

Bidhuri also pointed towards the failures of the DDA over the years in implementing its earlier Master Plans. DDA member and Congress MLA Mahabal Mishra said that instead of the proposed draft, the Assembly should discuss the amendments.

He said Delhi would need 10,000 schools soon and all the existing ones should be allowed to operate as the government is in no position to open so many new schools.

The discussion would continue in Monday and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is likely to move the amendments, which will be forwarded to the DDA for incorporation in the final draft of MPD-2021.

Email Amitabh Shukla: ashukla@hindustantimes.com