Delhi Masterplan: SC rejects Centre’s plea seeking modification of order

The Supreme Court today rejected the plea of the Centre seeking modification of its order in which the DDA was asked to invite suggestions from the public on amending the Master Plan of Delhi-2021. A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Navin Sinha did not accept the Centres submission that there was no need to take suggestions or objections of the public as DDA had undertaken this exercise earlier. We have not acceded to the request (of Centre and DDA) seeking modification of our order, the bench said. The apex court had on May 15 accepted DDAs action plan in which it had listed out steps including launching of an interactive website and a smart phone application to enable the public register their grievances regarding illegal constructions and given the authority 15 days time to make it operational. The DDA had also proposed to fix responsibility on officials in cases of illegal construction activities in the national capital and violation of the master plan and building bye-laws. In a five-page action plan, the DDA had said that it intends to check all ongoing and future unauthorised constructions in the city under the supervision of a special task force (STF) which was constituted on April 25 following an apex court order. The apex court had on March 6 stayed any further progress in amending the Delhi Master Plan 2021 to protect unauthorised construction from the ongoing sealing drive in the national capital, sternly observing that this dadagiri (bullying tactics) must stop. The court had taken strong exception to the non-filing of affidavits by the Delhi government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and municipal corporation of Delhi (MCDs) on whether an environment impact assessment was conducted before proposing amendments to the citys Master Plan. The Master Plan-2021 is a blueprint for urban planning and expansion in the metropolis to ensure overall development and the proposed amendments are aimed at bringing a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential plots and complexes on par with residential plots. FAR is the ratio of a buildings total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land on which it is built.