Letter of 02.05.2001 - Federation of RWAs of Vasant Kunj
From Chairman of Federation of RWAs of Vasant Kunj to DDA Vice Chairman with copy to LG / DDA Chairman and to CMO under Bhagidari (no.BHAGIDARI/VC-DDA/02 about residents’ concerns about DDA’s "planned" development in Vasant Kunj)
Mr P.K.Hota, Vice Chairman, DDA
Sub: Residents’ concerns about DDA’s "planned" development in Vasant Kunj
Dear Mr Hota,
You would recall our letter welcoming you as Vice Chairman of our DDA and drawing your attention to our concerns and efforts in Vasant Kunj, where DDA has set up its office to revise the Master Plan – last revised around the time DDA began "planned" development here. In the context of our myriad problems, we wonder how DDA’s Master Plan revision from Vasant Kunj is going to help the city when DDA’s last Master Plan revision combined with DDA’s exclusive role in Vasant Kunj has not delivered truly planned development here. To illustrate our concerns we site here two examples:
- Our first concern is with DDA’s residential development. We understand Vasant Kunj is designed for 1 lakh people. DDA has already allotted over 12000 flats and has lately built more and is doing soil testing for even more. Perhaps it is DDA’s intention to build its own flats for all of the 1 lakh designed population. It could, however, not have escaped DDA’s notice that, over the years in which it has built flats for upper income groups, lower income groups that provide essential services have either moved into existing villages or set up jhuggies. A large number of farmhouses have also come up. We estimate that Vasant Kunj’s population is already in excess of 1 lakh and that is the main reason for acute infrastructure shortages here. We fail to understand why DDA is building more flats here even after the designed population is in place. We believe further construction and allotment of DDA flats in Vasant Kunj should be stopped till DDA has assessed the requirements of existing population and whether and how these can be met with existing infrastructure resources.
- Our second concern is with DDA’s commercial development. DDA has lately developed three "local" shopping centres here and is in the process of developing a "community" centre for us. Frankly, we see nothing "local" about the said shopping centres and suspect "our" community centre will be no different. Most of our "local" shops and offices (numbering over 500) have come up in an unplanned manner along the main road near Masudpur and elsewhere. Already we are facing immense traffic problems – not to speak of visual squalor – on account of these. We shudder to think what DDA’s "planned" community centre will "contribute" in this scenario. We strongly believe DDA should stop construction and allotment of commercial space in Vasant Kunj till it has assessed the outstanding need / demand in the context of existing "unplanned" establishments and worked out a strategy for suitably integrating them in further "planned" development.
DDA, we understand, is statutorily mandated to take care of planned development in public interest rather than carry out real estate development on public land. We are a large constituent of the "public" in Vasant Kunj whose interest DDA’s ‘planned’ development is meant to serve. In view of the above reservations we have about DDA’s interpretation of "planned" development, we would like copies of the approved plans for our area so that we are able to understand and, if needed, comment on the same. In view of the prevailing consensus on bhagidari, we feel it is only appropriate that we should have responsibility and say in mechanisms of plan implementation and monitoring. We have, therefore, formed a sub-committee for this and hope DDA will extend us full cooperation. Accordingly, we look forward to receiving at the earliest the approved plans for Vasant Kunj and, thereafter, an opportunity for a discussion with you on the same.
O N Shukla, Chairman
cc for favour of information:
- Mr Vijai Kapoor, Hon’ble LG and Chairman, DDA
- Ms Shiela Dikshit, Hon’ble CM and Chairperson, Bhagidari Cell (Regn.No. BDRWASW55)