TNN | Aug 20, 2013, 05.13AM IST
NEW DELHI: After facing stiff opposition from environmentalists and water activists, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has decided to defer plans to redraw Zone ‘O’ of the Yamuna riverbed. Senior officials said the authority had discussed the concerns expressed by various individuals and organizations, and the proposal for transferring parts of Zone O into adjoining zones will be put in the public domain for objections and suggestions before further processing. The authority has also deferred plans to permit a 2.5-metre increase in the height of residential buildings for stilt parking.
“During the process of review of Master Plan-2021, suggestions were invited from the public, RWAs and others, and a large number of suggestions were received to transfer the residential areas, villages etc falling in Zone ‘O’ to the adjoining zones, E, F and P-2 as the residents were unable to get basic, physical and social infrastructure,” said an official. “The issue was discussed in various meetings of the management action groups and also the advisory body and it was observed that in Zone ‘O’, which defines the riverbed, some unauthorized colonies and old villages also exist. Thus, the zone’s boundary needs to be redrawn in consultation with the city’s environment department.”
DDA said various studies were done on existing embankments and it was proposed to transfer the area outside the riverbed/flood plain and the area separated by embankments to adjoining planning zones. “As a result of the proposal, villagers and the residents of unauthorized colonies will get permission to rebuild and repair their buildings from the local bodies. A large number of residential areas will get minimum basic social and physical infrastructure,” said an official.
Environmentalists have opposed the proposal saying it would harm the river whose floodplain is much reduced with encroachments. “If DDA is implementing a change in land use, it has to follow the procedure by inviting public feedback. It has invited comments for master plan review, nothing specific for Zone O,” said Manoj Misra from Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.
About the stilt parking proposal, sources said, officials are of the view that its implications need to be studied further. The proposal will be discussed in a meeting scheduled next week. The Master Plan of Delhi 2021 allows a maximum height of 15 metres for buildings, and if this is increased to 17.5m stilt parking for ground floor residents will be permitted.
Source: THE TIMES OF INDIA