Letter, Court Matter; Sub: WP 6980/2002, etc Letter to DDA Commissioner (Planning) (21/01/2005)

"We are ready to restore our PIL with costs in compliance of order of 12.01.2005 only if  DDA and MoUD are ready to file replies in compliance of order of 11.08.2004. Please let us know"

Mr A K Jain, Commissioner (Planning) DDA

Sub: WP 6980/2002, etc

Dear Mr Jain,

As you might be aware, in WP 6980/2002 we had challenged a tender for auction of space in DDA markets for unrestricted use, etc. While declining to quash the tender (since auction was the same day) the court issued notice on 31.10.2002 for directions for future guidance. On 18.01.2003 DDA filed a counter-affidavit conceding (while denying) our allegations and making assurances made to us in 2001. We filed rejoinder and, despite several orders, DDA and MoUD did not file further affidavits. On 17.12.2003 we were directed to file a difficult (insofar as layout / sub-layout plans are not public) supplementary affidavit and complied as well as we could, including also details of manipulation of constitutional processes in MCD-NGO initiatives, etc. DDA and MoUD failed to reply to this despite order of 11.08.2004. On 06.01.2005 our PIL was dismissed for default / non-prosecution (after the associate appearing asked for a pass-over since the arguing counsel was on his way). On 12.01.2005, when respondents argued against our application for restoration, we were ordered to pay costs (Rs.10,000/- was mentioned, perhaps Rs.5,000/- in the order, of which we do not have a copy yet) and the matter was listed for 28.04.2005. On 13.01.2005 a news report suggested that illegalities challenged in our PIL stand legitimized in the draft DMP-2021 approved on 10.01.2005.

You might appreciate we are in an awkward position. We have no specific prayer in this matter and have been pursuing it only because the court desired to see about directions for future. Unfortunately, DDA and MoUD desired not to engage and the future may well be past by the time we are next listed. However, we are convinced of the significance not only of the issues raised in this PIL but also of the course it has taken. We believe PIL calls for collaborative transparent approach and are writing to you (since our matters require interpretation of DMP and you occupy the position of authority in which that responsibility vests) to let you know:

  1. We are ready to restore our PIL with costs in compliance of order of 12.01.2005 only if DDA and MoUD are ready to file replies in compliance of order of 11.08.2004. Please let us know.
  2. On hawkers’ issue, which appears to us a larger scam of which DMP subversion was exigency and which was central not to our PIL but to DDA’s reply of 18.01.2003, there is a CVC reference of 10.09.2004 of which DDA VC is appraised via GNCTD forwardings asking for ATR/comment (to me). Since you are also named in anti-DMP NGO advocacy you might want to comment.
  3. The core issue in our PIL is profiteering on public land by subverting DMP’s (mandatory) equity / efficiency-guaranteeing provisions and accountability-guaranteeing processes, amply raised in all our efforts, broadly enumerated in enclosed1 note for Parliamentary Standing Committee visit on 05.01.2005. (GNCTD forwarding of 11.01.2005 asks DDA VC for ATR/comment to us on letters of 21&22.11.2004 in context of WP 8523/2003 listed next on 23.02.2005; 12-weeks that court had allowed DDA for compliance of judgment in WP 8954-59/2004 elapsed without compliance on 18.01.2005; the court asked yesterday for summaries of submissions in WP 5007&5009/2002).
  4. We have letters from DDA since 2000 saying our views will be considered while finalizing DMP-2021. DMP-2021 provisions, by all accounts, are contrary to our views (expressed within ambit of DMP imperatives, by constitutional processes) and appear to us to have come about at cost of sanctity of DMP / constitutional processes, with implications that you might wish to reflect upon.

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma | MPISG Planner

cc: for favour of information

  • LG / DDA Chairman (wrt letter of 29/12/2005 re WP 6980/2002, enclosed for ready reference)
  • Secy CVC (wrt CVC reference of 10/09/2004 and subsequent correspondence)
  • Adviser (HUD) Planning Commission2

Adviser (HUD), Planning Commission

 Sub: Delhi Master Plan (DMP) – issues concerning Planning Commission

Dear Madam / Sir,

I am writing this letter to place in perspective the one to DDA Commissioner (Planning) that is endorsed to you (encl.1).

As a planner, I am indebted to Planning Commission for what I consider the first official catching of the DMP subversion scam – in its “Report of the Committee on Problems of slums in Delhi” (June 2002) that connects Delhi’s slum problem to the failure to implement mandatory EWS housing provisions. (I had made a presentation at the experts’ round-table on 24/08/2001 for that report in which I had illustrated this connection, also for DMP solutions for equal access education and for small-scale / informal retail trade).

The authorities represented on the committee whose report made this connection, continued to ignore it in pursuits of other patently incapable, besides extra-statutory, ideas for slums. This was despite repeated requests, with reference also to matters in court, about which I kept the Commission informed through occasional copies of letters / NCMP-DMP notes in June-July 2004 and the last I wrote was, perhaps, the letter of 06.07.2004 to CVC (encl.23).

I am also enclosing what I wrote CVC about the hawker issue progressing regardless of its intervention after receiving on 14.01.2005 a bulk-mail invitation to the launch of Madhu Purnima Kishwar’s book by Planning Commission Dy Chairman (encl.34). The shelter / night-shelter issue, progressing regardless of report of 2002, makes a similar pattern vis-à-vis Planning Commission.

All this is just to share insights from attempts to diagnose anomie.

Best regards and Republic Day greetings

Gita Dewan Verma, Planner