A Supreme Court bench of justices MB Lokur and Navin Sinha, on May 24, 2018, rejected the centre’s submission that there was no need to take suggestions or objections from the public on the Master Plan of Delhi-2021, as the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had undertaken this exercise earlier. “We have not acceded to the request (of the centre and DDA), seeking modification of our order,” the bench said.
The apex court had, on May 15, 2018, accepted the DDA’s action plan, in which it had listed out steps including launching of an interactive website and a smartphone application, to enable the public to 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, 2018, following an apex court order.
The apex court had, on March 6, 2018, 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, the DDA and municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), on whether an environment impact assessment was conducted before proposing amendments to the city’s 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 building’s total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land on which it is built.