Today's Paper

Supreme Court asks civic authorities to find solutions to Delhi’s problems

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre, the Delhi Government and the civic agencies to find solutions to problems pertaining to inadequacy of infrastructure due to phenomenal growth and haphazard urban development in the Capital.

A three-Judge Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice C. K. Thakker and Justice L. S. Panta passed this interim order during the hearing of a batch of petitions relating to various aspects of the Master Plan for Delhi-2021 and regularisation of unauthorised colonies.

The Bench in its order said: “During the course of hearing of these cases, it transpires that apart from Master Plan-2021, Regional Plan-2021 of the National Capital Region Development Board (NCRDB) has considerable importance.

The problems highlighted essentially relate to adequacy of infrastructure and amenities as defined under the relevant statute.” “It is therefore felt appropriate that functionaries of NCRDB, Delhi Government, DDA, MCD, NDMC and various other agencies consider a harmonious blend of the Regional Plan-2021 and the Master Plan-2021 to look into the problems highlighted and the need for solving these problems. It is true that there cannot be any ready-made solutions to be problems,” the Bench added. Setting up a committee comprising representatives of various agencies, the Bench appointed Union Urban Development Ministry Joint Secretary Kutty as its convenor. It said Solicitor-General G. E. Vahanvati and senior counsel Ranjit Kumar, who is assisting the Court as amicus curiae, would participate in the meetings.

“Submit report”

It asked Mr. Kutty to formulate and submit a report on the outcome of the meetings in a sealed cover by the second week of August and posted the matter for further hearing on August 25.

The Bench passed the order after Mr. Ranjit Kumar complained that Delhi had become a concrete jungle as the original vision of developing the NCR region involving the neighbouring States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan had remained only on paper.

He pointed out that though as far back as 1985 the NCRDB Act had been formulated for the purpose of de-congesting Delhi, the Board and the authorities concerned had failed to ensure implementation of the same.

In the process, he said, thousands of offices, commercial establishments and residential premises had mushroomed in the Capital with consequential migration of population into Delhi. On the amicus curiae’s suggestion, the Bench issued notice to the NCRDB with a direction that its functionaries be present before the Court at the next hearing.

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