Letter to Left about non-representation of protest against wilfulness, 03.10.04

In view of continuing disregard of statutory solution and focussed demand for a solution equal to or better than it and of actions of Delhi government and inaction of central government, etc (sent to CPI-M centreal and state offices, CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc)

The ToI report below quotes GNCTD minister as saying they are not filing their review petition since they “do not have a convincing argument”. The “regularisation” argument (for 15000 units) that GNCTD has been making since 1999 is not even tenable, forget convincing, and has been comprehensively rejected in the judgment of 07 May 2004. Yet in August the Assembly and in September the Cabinet resolved in favour of it and for over a month GNCTD has been promising a review petition on this basis, which it has now suddenly realized is not convincing.

The judgment, based on Delhi Master Plan, allows two options – time-bound enforcement of DMP solution (that allows most units redevelopment / proximous relocation options) or time-bound closure. GNCTD has driven the city to the latter by its disregard of DMP – typical of most of its development initiatives (even its Secretariat ‘non-conforming’).

What is curious is why GNCTD, famous for its lament of no control over DDA, is in control of compliance of a judgment based on DMP even as the Court has also appointed DDA to the monitoring committee, DMP is central government responsibility and compliance through the DMP solution (rather than closure) an imperative also of National Common Minimum Program.

It is also curious that while protest against closure is growing, protest against willful disregard of statutory solutions / focussed demand for a solution equal to or better than it – although registered by several industries and individuals – still awaits representation / response.

Gita Dewan Verma, Planner

Industry worker dies, protesters spit fire, Times of India, 02.10.20041

SDM’s Team Pushed Victim, Allege Owners; Officials Deny

  • 1. Industry worker dies, protesters spit fire, Times of India, 02.10.2004

    New Delhi: An industry worker died following a heart attack on Friday afternoon at Rampura in Trinagar area, when identification of polluting industries was being carried out by the area sub-divisional magistrate (SDM). Unit owners blocked Rohtak road and the railway line in protest and the police had to lathicharge the mob.

    The victim, Mam Chand (45) operated a lathe machine. The incident occurred at around 1:30 pm, when a team comprising the SDM, officials of NDPL, DJB accompanied by area police were in the process of disconnecting water and electricity connections of F category industries.

    Accusations were flying thick and fast. While industrialists alleged that the SDM’s team had pushed the victim, the Delhi government stated the SDM’s team was not present on the spot when the incident occurred.

    “After surveying 24 industries, the team had disconnected the electricity supply of 8 F category industries. While the team members were at the premises of a plastic ball manufacturer, they heard that someone had died of a heart attack… there was no interaction between the survey team and the deceased,” a Delhi government statement said. It was after this that the team is said to have visited the spot. The activity was subsequently called off.

    Earlier last month, an industry owner collapsed following a heart attack and later died while protesting against the closure of industries in Vishwas Nagar in east Delhi.

    The victim, Deepak Bhatia (42), ran a printing press in the area. Here, too, police had to resort to lathicharge to control the crowd.

    Meanwhile, with the October 7 deadline for F category industries drawing near, the government made it clear it will not approach the Court on the issue. “We do not have a convincing argument. We will just implement the court orders,” industries minister Mangat Ram Singhal said on Friday.

    The government had earlier said it will file a review petition in court, asking them for more time to regularise industrial areas with heavy concentration of industries.

    The government had, up till Thursday cut the water and electricity supply of about 1,000 industries. Almost 4,000 industries have been surveyed till now, Singhal added. The action has, understandably, irked the industry owners who allege that the government was not only taking away their livelihood, but also putting an end to Delhi’s commerce.