ibnlive » India

Jun 20, 2007 at 07:46am IST

Masterplan 2021 has RWAs unhappy

New Delhi: Most traders in the Capital are happy with the Delhi Masterplan 2021. But Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) of the city believe that the Masterplan completely disregards development and safety of residential colonies.

When the Supreme Court began its sealing drive last year to stop commercial establishments from mushrooming illegally in residential areas of Delhi, Pankaj Agarwal and his friends at Safdarjung Enclave were relieved.

They thought the menace of commercialisation was finally being dealt with. But they say the Delhi Masterplan 2021 has all dashed their hopes.

"Unplanned mixed land use or commercialisation is never sustainable because it finishes the residential character of colonies. There is no security and problems in parking and sanitation arise," says Agarwal, a member of RWA.

The Delhi Masterplan 2021 proposes mixed land use on roads in residential areas with more than 50 per cent commercialisation.

Besides the ground floor of houses in villages and unauthorised colonies, it has relaxed initially fixed road widths in C, D, E, F and G category colonies. It allows commercial activity on the ground floor of LIG and DDA flats, resettlement colonies and in slums.

The Masterplan also makes allowances for path labs, diagnostic centers, clinics and nursing homes. Even industrial areas can be commercialised if they are on roads that are 80 feet and above in width.

But residents feel the proposal is too pro-commercialisation and will be a strain on the infrastructure. They are also worried their colony won't be safe any more.

The resentment amongst citizen groups is growing. The Delhi Pradesh's citizen council challenged the validity of the Masterplan a day after it was released.

The sealing drive was meant to check the unplanned commercialisation in the city. However, the Masterplan has practically made it redundant.

The Supreme Court, which will be hearing the sealing matter again on February 20, still has to give its nod of approval to the Masterplan. And citizens' groups are hoping that their concerns will be acknowledged by the Supreme Court.

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