The problem of industries in places not meant for them in Delhi has resulted from failure to develop industrial space provided for in the Master Plan and, obviously, calls for Plan implementation. Solutions, however, are being sought by way of Plan modification to permit regularisation, which can do little beyond labeling the problem solution, while sparing space meant for industries for other uses.

Since 1962 Delhi's Master Plan has adequate provisions for industrial space as well as for sensitive relocation of units. The revised Master Plan approved in 1990 also has sensible provisions for regularisation of units in three specified unintended industrial clusters, viz, Shahdara, Anand Parbat and Samaipur Badli. These provisions reflect the reality basis of the Plan and allow for extension of sensible regularisation to other places as per need. The provisions of the Act that allow Plan modification by due process are also meant to ensure flexibility in furtherance of Plan goals. Thus sensible regularisation is possible under the Plan and Act.

However, sweeping regularisation of industrial units in residential areas is not even remotely contemplated or permitted by the Plan and the Act. The Plan explicitly prohibits residential use in industrial areas and industrial use, except household industries in general and a larger but limited range of industries in villages, in residential areas. Regularisation of unintended industrial concentrations is contemplated by the Plan in only three areas and only on basis of unit level assessments of safety and compatibility only after area level upgrading according to redevelopment schemes based on proper surveys. Extension of the redevelopment provisions of the Plan to other areas, while permissible in the spirit of the Plan, is regulated by provisions of the Act requiring due process, inclusive of basis in planning data and public notice inviting objections, for indicating redevelopment areas in zonal plans. This is to ensure that wider implications of Plan modifications are carefully considered. For instance, regularising industries in planned residential space may need to be accompanied by compensatory Plan modifications to restore residential space elsewhere.

In utter disregard of statutory provisions of the Plan and the Act, proposals for regularising industrial units in residential areas are being mooted, approved, announced, scrutinised, etc. All this has no basis in the mandate of development according to Plan and, in fact, amounts to abandonment of that mandate. Nor can such regularisation do any more than change label of problem to solution, as shown by the recent tragedy in Samaipur Badli where redevelopment has not taken place despite being mandatory under the Plan since 1990. All that these regularisation proposals are doing is diverting attention from accountability on implementation of Plan provisions for industrial space.

Regularisation of industries in residential areas

  • 2003.02.08: Delhi Congress Chief claims credit, saying Assembly had approved proposal for regularisation in 2001: News report
  • 2003.02.08: Questions about the Committee: Letter1
  • 2003.02.06: Delhi BJP Chief quoted saying Committee is to revise MoUD's anti-regularisation affidavit: News report2
  • 2003.02.04: Jagmohan says the move is killing 'his' blueprint for Delhi: News reports3
  • 2003.02.04: Union Urban Development Minister retracts, saying a Committee has been formed to study the proposal: News reports4
  • 2003.02.03: Objection presuming mandatory Public Notice: Letter5
  • 2003.01.29: BJP Delhi chief announces regularisation in the following week: News reports6
  • 2003.01.17: Newspaper article by Managing Director, Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation: Comment7
  • 2003.12.21: Illegality of the move: Letter8
  • 2002.12.21: DDA accords approval for regularisation of industries in 24 residential areas: News reports9
  • 2002.12.19: With the Supreme Court deadline approaching and no progress on relocation, Delhi Government and DDA start talking of regularisation: News reports10

Samaipur Badli reality reminder

  • 2002.01.25: Gita Dewan Verma: Two surveys, no inference11
  • 2003.01.24: 65 unregistered industrial units in North-West, Daily Pioneer
  • 2002.12.31: Probe / survey ordered
  • 2002.12.29: Gita Dewan Verma: And how many deaths will it take to be known...?12
  • 2002.12.02: 9 killed, 13 injured in glass factory blast

Regularisation of industries in urban villages

  • 2003.01.15: Gita Dewan Verma: Public cost surveys for murderous moves
  • 2003.01.14: Survey of industries in villages announced
  • 2003.01.03: Delhi government proposes regularisation of industrial units in urban villages

Posted by Gita Dewan Verma: 2003-02-08, last modified July 10, 2006