Terming DDA as “Delhi Destruction Authority”, the Supreme Court has asked it not to succumb to pressure, a likely allusion to political efforts to halt sealings, by amending the city’s Master Plan in haste without due consultations with all stakeholders.
Though it did not stop the DDA from its current moves to alter the Master Pan and allow changes in the FAR (floor area ratio) and slash penalties, the court observed that DDA should not allow rampant unauthorised constructions with no basic amenities, which are destroying the national capital.
“There is rule of law and you cannot give freedom to people to violate law,” the court said, asking DDA to act tough against people who were constructing buildings in violation of the law, adding that its hopes of purposeful government action have been belied.
It said DDA must also hold consultations with residents and resident welfare associations (RWAs) before taking any decision.
It said all authorities in the city kept their eyes closed and the national capital was being ravaged by its own citizens and government officials who had allowed unauthorised constructions and misuse of residential premises for industrial and other commercial purposes over the years.
DDA’s counsel told the court that DDA has proposed to change the Master Plan to provide relief to traders hit by the ongoing sealing drive. DDA approved the proposal to give uniform floor area ratio (FAR) in shop-cum-residential plots on a par with residential plots, reduce penalty on non-payment of conversion charges from 10 times to twice the amount and allow commercial activities in basements.
However, the proposed changes are subject to availability of parking and statutory clearances, including fire, structural safety and building bylaws’ compliance.