GDA has some ex­plain­ing to do, now that the Al­la­habad HC wants to know why plots in Va­sund­hara, Indi­ra­pu­ram and Vaishali, meant for com­mu­nity cen­tres, are be­ing con­verted for res­i­den­tial use

HT Estates - - NEWS - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

How im­por­tant are com­mu­nity cen­tres for city dwellers? A place for wed­dings, gath­er­ings, sports, etc, such places give lo­cals a venue to get to­gether and work for im­prove­ment of their com­mu­ni­ties and for leisure ac­tiv­i­ties. The Al­la­habad High Court (HC) re­cently asked the Ghazi­abad De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity to ex­plain how plots meant for com­mu­nity cen­tres and en­ter­tain­ment sites un­der the so­cial in­fra­struc­ture head of Mas­ter Plan 2021 in Va­sund­hara, Indi­ra­pu­ram and Vaishali were con­verted for com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial use.

Lack of so­cial in­fra­struc­ture in th­ese sec­tions of Ghazi­abad be­cause of this Mas­ter Plan vi­o­la­tion was raised in a pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion in the high court by the Fed­er­a­tion of Apart­ment Owners As­so­ci­a­tion, rep­re­sent­ing 35 as­so­ci­a­tions of apart­ment owners com­pris­ing res­i­dents of around 15,000 units in Ghazi­abad city.

Three cases of ma­jor vi­o­la­tions of Mas­ter Plan 2021 by the Ghazi­abad De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity have been men­tioned in the PIL, the first in­volv­ing a plot in Ahinsa Khand-II, Indi­ra­pu­ram. The fed­er­a­tion has al­leged that this piece of land was re­served in the Mas­ter Plan for com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties or re­cre­ational pur­poses. Some­where in the late ’90s it was leased by GDA to Vic­tory In­frat­ech Pri­vate Limited, a real es­tate de­vel­oper, for con­struc­tion and run­ning a com­mu­nity place. As per terms of the lease, GDA con­structed the cen­tre - Indi­ra­pu­ram Habi­tat Cen­tre - and leased it to the de­vel­oper to run.

“Ini­tially, Vic­tory In­frat­ech Pri­vate Limited, t hrough Indi­ra­pu­ram Habi­tat Cen­tre, of­fered re­cre­ational fa­cil­i­ties such as mak­ing it avail­able for com­mu­nity func­tions etc. It main­tained lawns which were lent out to third par­ties on rent for mar­riage par­ties, com­mu­nity shows, etc. How­ever, it ap­pears that Vic­tory In­frat­ech claim­ing that it was un­able to make prof­its by way of the afore­said ac­tiv­i­ties, has started con­struct­ing com­mer­cial shops and res­i­den­tial apart­ments on the said plot and shock­ingly, GDA have al­lowed the il­le­gal con­struc­tion,” the Fed­er­a­tion has al­leged in its pe­ti­tion.

The other two vi­o­la­tions high­lighted are i n phase2 in Indi­ra­pu­ram and plot num­bers 530, 532, 541, 542, at Mahi­ud­din­pur vil­lage in Kanawani.

KK Singh, sec­re­tary of the Fed­er­a­tion of Apart­ment Owners As­so­ci­a­tion, al­leges that, “In Indi­ra­pu­ram phase-2, GDA is car­ry­ing out land use con­ver­sion with­out per­mis­sions from the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gional Plan­ning Board (NCRPB) and is on verge of com­plet­ing the for­mal­i­ties of change in land use which is com­pletely il­le­gal and with­out ju­ris­dic­tion. Due to th­ese vi­o­la­tions, GDA has be­come a part­ner in th­ese gross il­le­gal­i­ties of con­vert­ing com­mon ben­e­fit land to com­mer­cial/ res­i­den­tial plots in col­lu­sion with pri­vate de­vel­op­ers.”

Singh says that un­less NCRPB per­mits land use change, any con­ver­sion by GDA will be il­le­gal and refers to a Supreme Court judg­ment dated Oc­to­ber 1, 1996, which said, “…one stip­u­la­tion is in­escapable that un­less the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion Plan­ning Board gives the green sig­nal noth­ing can go ahead. The nec­es­sary im­pli­ca­tion of this is also that at ev­ery stage in ref­er­ence to the plans, afore­said, each Con­stituent State, a part of the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion plan, has to keep a close con­sul­ta­tion with the fed­eral agency which is the Board.”

The SC judg­ment has made it clear that de­vel­op­ment plans have to be car­ried out step by step – Any project plan drawn up by a de­vel­oper has to be in con­cur­rence with the Mas­ter Plan i n ac­cor­dance with

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