RWAs laud SC decision on changes to master plan, traders want bill in Parliament | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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RWAs laud SC decision on changes to master plan, traders want bill in Parliament

The SC on Tuesday reprimanded the DDA for not filing an affidavit about the impact of these amendments on environment, traffic and other aspects.

delhi Updated: Mar 07, 2018 12:54 IST
HT Correspondent
RWAs said the SC decision would prevent sprouting of commercial establishments in residential areas.
RWAs said the SC decision would prevent sprouting of commercial establishments in residential areas.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Traders have expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s decision to stay amendments to the Master Plan of Delhi 2021.

The traders have decided to ask the Centre and the Delhi government to come up with a bill in Parliament, which they say would protect them from the sealing drive initiated by the Supreme Court-monitored committee.

But resident welfare associations welcomed the apex court’s decision and said it would help prevent sprouting of commercial establishments in residential areas.

Last week, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had approved changes in the master plan to give relief to the commercial establishments from sealing. The changes include bringing the floor area ratio in shop-cum-residence plots and complexes on a par with residential plots.

But on Tuesday, the court stayed these amendments and reprimanded the DDA, other agencies for not filing an affidavit about the impact of these amendments on the environment, traffic, congestion and other safety aspects.

“After the court’s decision, the matter has become more complicated. It will not just affect the livelihood of lakhs of people but destabilise traders. We have sought an appointment with union minister for home affairs Rajnath Singh on Wednesday,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of Confederation of All India Traders.

Traders said the Centre should immediately bring a bill in the current Parliament session to issue a moratorium on sealing. The court and the government should adopt a holistic approach on the issue, they said.

“The commercialisation is the result of the failure of agencies concerned to discharge their obligations envisaged under different master plans and because of them, the traders have been made scapegoat. The DDA has developed only 16% planned commercial space in last 40 years,” said Vijay Kumar, president of South Extension I Market Association.

“If all shops in local markets shut down, then the prices of commodities will increase manifold and residents will suffer,” said Rajendra Sharda from the Greater Kailash I market.

Khandelwal said that a traders’ delegation will also meet union minister of housing and urban affairs Hardeep Puri, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to press for their demands.

RWAs feel vindicated

“Repeated amendments and relaxation in MPD 2021 have destroyed the soul of planned development. Unfortunately, the civic authorities have been bringing changes without creating additional infrastructure facilities to support these commercial establishments. No authority has right to convert the city into a jungle,” said Rajeev Kakria, GK I RWA member.

“The SC decision has come as a big boost to the ‘save our city’ campaign launched by the RWAs to oppose the amendments in the master plan,” he said.

The RWA members said that they were not against traders but the civic authorities, which were taking decisions without understanding the aftermath.

“The SC has rightly ordered in this matter to save the city. For traders, DDA or MCD must plan a correct policy and establish special zones in the outskirts,” said Chetan Sharma, secretary general of confederation of NCR RWAs.

Sealing in city

The civic agencies have sealed 87 commercial establishments on Tuesday, including hookah bars, massage parlours and spas in Amar Colony.