The heat generated by the draft of the Master Plan - 2021 forced the Congress High Command to convene a meeting of the party’s coordination committee for Delhi on Wednesday to accommodate the divergent opinions in government agenda.
Certain provisions of the MPD 2021 have received the flak of all concerned - the MLAs, ministers and even Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. They now want that their views be accommodated in the final draft, due to come out by the end of this month.
Top party leaders – Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, his deputy Ajay Maken, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Delhi, Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her cabinet colleagues, DPCC President Ram Babu Sharma, party MPs from Delhi attended the meeting.
The regularisation of unauthorised colonies, the main demand of the Congress for the last 30 years was on top of the agenda. The Delhi government demand of regularising these colonies without charging any developmental money found consensus. For such colonies on government land, it was decided that only the land acquisition rates - the rate paid by the government to farmers - would be charged.
A consensus also emerged on allowing basements for certain kinds of commercial activity. Moreover, the leaders from the city asked that the 15 metre ceiling on construction of buildings should be exclusive of the basement.
Conversion charges for regularising shops in residential areas too figured in the discussion and the state leadership convinced the union ministers and the central party leadership that it should be reduced by 70 per cent and charged only once instead of annually as provided.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit wanted that the views of the MLAs, expressed in the assembly should be incorporated in the MPD along with that of the MPs. Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy said the MPD would be out by the end of this month. For posh unauthorised colonies like Sainik Farms, Anant Ram Dairy and Mahendru Enclave, Reddy was non-committal and said no decision had been taken on that front.
All the members of the coordination committee also agreed for holding the MCD polls on time. Another meeting of the committee is expected in a fortnight where the amended Master Plan would be discussed before its notification.