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AAP, BJP spar at DDA hearing on master plan amendments

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj from Greater Kailash suggested the land owning agency should specify how the fund collected as conversion charges will be spent but BJP MLA and leader of opposition in the Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta objected to his submission.

delhi Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
DDA,master plan,sealing
A sealed office in N- Block, Connaught Place in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The last day of public hearing on objections and suggestions on amendments to the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 started on a stormy note with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs getting to a political slugfest.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj from Greater Kailash suggested the land owning agency should specify how the fund collected as conversion charges will be spent but BJP MLA and leader of opposition in the Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta objected to his submission.

“If the DDA mandates collection of conversion charges, it should spell out how the amount collected would be used because municipal corporations have been misusing conversion charges. It should set a deadline for spending funds on a specific project,” Bhardwaj said.

His remark evoked a sharp reaction from the BJP leader, who was also a member of the panel hearing public views.

Gupta said the AAP MLAs instead of recording their responses before the DDA panel were are making political statements. He was joined by his party colleague and Vishwas Nagar MLA OP Sharma.

Bhardwaj was supported by Ajay Dutt, AAP legislator from Ambedkar Nagar and Rajesh Gupta, MLA from Wazirpur. This led to heated arguments between two groups,which prompted DDA officials to intervene.

The DDA had on February 2 proposed three amendments to the master plan — a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential complexes, reduced penalties and regularising agricultural godowns. These amendments were aimed at providing relief to traders from the sealing drive.

A report based on the responses will be presented in the authority’s meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal after which they will be included in master plan amendments.

“After a nod in the authority meetings, the modifications in MPD will be notified. Efforts are on to propose consolidated amendments so that DDA does not face any difficulty in Supreme Court,” said a DDA official.

Mixed land use stretches

Citing lack of employment opportunities, attendees demanded that more roads (also in villages) should be allowed for mixed land use.

Raj Singh Dabas, a senior citizen from Kanjhawala, sought inclusion of village roads, seven metres in width, in the mixed land use category. “This would help settle employment issues in villagers. Land acquisition has rendered our children unemployed,” he said.

Gajender Singh from Jasola said that due to shortage of commercial space, locals are facing difficulties. “Ours is highly populated neighbourhood and the number of shops is comparatively less. If commercial activities are allowed, it will help area residents because these shops will cater to their daily needs,” he said.

Conversion charges waiver

Traders insisted on waiving off conversion charges and uniform FAR in ‘other’ markets. Ashok Ratti of Lajpat Nagar said while illegal markets were enjoying higher FAR (350), approved markets are not getting the same.

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 23:10 IST