‘It is a disaster waiting to happen’
A petition in the high court by the RWA federation highlights violations of Master Plan 2021
While Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) is making tall claims of development as per Master Plan 2021, allegations have been labelled against it for its collective failure to ensure the implementation of the document in the right manner leading to imminent infrastructural disaster in this NCR region.
Alok Kumar, vice chairman, RWA Federation of Ghaziabad, has filed a public interest litigation in Allahabad High Court alleging that the systematic dilution and wrong interpretation of public policies has led to a situation where large scale unplanned and illegal constructions have been carried out in complete violation of the existing building by-laws, Master Plan 2021, and the National Building Code.
“The areas, which were planned as low-density residential colonies, are now high-density zones and this has led to clogged national highways and arterial roads, sewer overflow/backflow, drastic drop in the underground water table, lack of solid waste disposal system and law and order (breakdown) risk. In fact, GDA has failed to enforce the planned development as per its own Master Plan 2021 with neutral- ity on all issues,” says Kumar.
According to him, GDA has committed four major violations:
It has been changing land use of city forest, recreational land and park land into group housing and golf course
It has compounded unauthorised and even illegal constructions
Indiscriminate allotment of additional floor area ratio over and above the permissible FAR,
It is not taking any action against unauthorised construction and encroachment in time, leading to the present situation.
In October last year, the Allahabad High Court ordered GDA to maintain status quo on its plan to convert a city forest into a golf course. This area has been earmarked for the development of forest areas such as Sai Upvan and Kanha Upvan in Master Plan 2021. In another case, residents challenged GDA’s decision to allow conversion of a large part of recreational land into group housing land in village Kanawani near Delhi Public School. The said conversion is under scrutiny in the high court.
“In the Master Plan, GDA has made provisions for medium density residential use in Indirapuram and many other areas but permitting 33% additional FAR on purchasable basis has created more number of units without infrastructure and other facilities. Not just that, GDA has limited mandate to compound only ‘minor aberrations’ only without disturbing the provisions of Master Plan 2021 but it has been regularising even serious illegalities,” argues Alok Kumar in his petition before the court.