Sub: NCMP next-step imperatives vis-à-vis Delhi Master Plan / priority announced for it

Letter to Secretary MoUD reiterating request for clarifications, asking about action on DMP violations and anti-DMP propaganda mentioned in letter forwarded by President on 11.02.04 and how to be associated as expert on the assessment of riverbed encroachment removal that was decided as part of the decision to start it with Pushta, enclosing a note on overall opportunities and imperatives arising from NCMP-DMP convergence

Secretary, MoUD

Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi – 110011

Sub: NCMP next-step imperatives vis-à-vis Delhi Master Plan / priority announced for it

Ref: Attempt today to oust Pushta farmers mistakenly subjected to demolition on 9th April

Dear Sir,

Permit me to recall to you that in the matter of the mistaken demolition under reference the aggrieved had written to you on 12, 15 and 29.04.04 and copy of a letter of 09.05.04 to DDA also brought to your attention that assurances consistent with their lawful demand had been given by then Tourism Minister. Response is awaited to their letters, as well as mine of 05, 13 and 22.04.04 on the larger issue of riverbed cultivators and of 23.04.04 apropos Pushta slum clearance and resettlement to also ask how experts are being recruited for the assessment for which decision was taken at the same meeting of 03.01.04 that decided to start compliance of High Court order of 03.03.04 with Pushta clearance since I wish to apply on basis of my professional chronicling and engaging. Meanwhile, since elections, there have been odd ‘negotiations’ in, peculiar news reports about and NGO opinion pieces to disparage planners / authorities / courts over Pushta. Amidst these on 27.05.04 ToI reported DDA plans to demolish Pushta cultivator settlements, whereupon I wrote to DDA Commissioner (Planning) a letter (encl.11) asking for prior clarifications and meeting.

On 28.05.04 cabinet adopted the NCMP, which clearly states that “forced eviction and demolition of slums will be stopped” (section on Infrastructure) and also that “to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of farmers” is one of six basic principles of governance. Contrary to these NCMP commitments and, in view of pendency of aforementioned letters, etc, also to solemn pledge in it “to provide a government that is corruption-free, transparent and accountable at all times, to provide an administration that is responsible and responsive at all times”, an attempt to forcibly evict Pushta farmers was made on 30.05.04.

In the context of the foregoing, and with reference to NCMP, I make / reiterate four requests:

  1. Kindly issue necessary directions to ensure that further Pushta demolitions are held in abeyance till clarifications / meeting requested in the letter at encl.1.
  2. Kindly let me know, as requested in my letter of 24.04.04, how I might participate in the Pushta clearance assessment to be made as per decisions of meeting of 03.01.04.
  3. Kindly let me know of action taken on my representation about NGOs, etc, disparaging law, courts and professions, forwarded to you by Hon’ble President’s Secretariat.
  4. Kindly peruse the note (encl.22) on NCMP next-step imperatives, illustrated by the case of Delhi Master Plan (for which Hon’ble Minister has announced priority), and do please let me know if there is any possibility of dialogue.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma / Planner