The monitoring committee in its report submitted before the Supreme Courthas stated that the amendments made by DDA in Master Plan 2021 for local shopping complexes (LSC) should be kept in abeyance and only be implemented after necessary infrastructure is created on the ground. The committee also slammed the civic authorities for not following its orders.
The report accessed by TOI states that any amendment to the master plan has to take the views of the public into account, but DDA ignored this under pressure by the trading community. “The ministry and central government were apparently influenced by the pressure exerted by the trading community and totally ignored the objections raised by the general public whose well-being will be adversely affected if these amendments are put into practice,” the report stated.
The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs had approved the changes in the master plan to provide relief to traders. While traders’ associations had welcomed the step, RWAscomplained about the “madness” the amendment was going to create across the capital.
As per the changes, LSCs would get uniform floor area ratio (FAR) on a par with residential plots and use of basements and upper floors would be permitted for running commercial activities on payment of conversion and parking charges. The local bodies were directed to provide parking space for these markets. There are 106 LSCs across the capital and most face parking problems.
The committee lashed out at the government authorities stating that the “local bodies have not bothered to provide parking facilities from the amount received on account of conversion charges besides parking charges recovered from traders.”
“Before implementing the amendments, the local bodies should first develop the infrastructure, not only for parking but also for civic amenities like sewerage, electricity, water, solid waste management, etc otherwise the environment will be highly adversely impacted. Parking is a costlier affair and lack of such facility results in increase in pollution,” the report stated. It also proposed that all shop-cum-residence complexes should be declared pedestrian shopping streets till slots for increased parking are developed.
The report said that sealing operations against illegal premises/properties came to a standstill as the municipal corporations and allied authorities refused to carry out the directions of the monitoring committee. South Delhi Municipal Corporation was pulled up for non-compliance of orders. The report added that officials were adamant in stalling sealing operations and didn’t follow the directions of the committee “intentionally and deliberately”.