DDA may amend mas­ter plan to save ‘il­le­gal’ gyms

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Mas­ter Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2021 is likely to be amended to al­low gyms and other fit­ness cen­tres on com­mer­cial and mixed-land use roads. The cur­rent plan al­lows these fa­cil­i­ties in com­mer­cial com­plexes only if they have come up be­fore Au­gust 12, 2008.

A Supreme Court-ap­pointed monitoring com­mit­tee re­cently or­dered seal­ing of all gym, yoga and med­i­ta­tion cen­tres vi­o­lat­ing the mas­ter plan norms. Ac­cord­ing to the com­mit­tee, all these cen­tres fall un­der the ‘other’ cat­e­gory of land use. The or­der is also ap­pli­ca­ble ir­re­spec­tive of the na­ture of the road — com­mer­cial, mixed or non-no­ti­fied — if an es­tab­lish­ment has come up af­ter the cut­off date of Au­gust 12, 2008 as per a no­ti­fi­ca­tion of Delhi De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (DDA), the com­mit­tee has said.

Union hous­ing and ur­ban af­fairs min­is­ter Hardeep Singh Puri, how­ever, said at an event on Mon­day that the mas­ter plan would be changed to ac­com­mo­date these cen­tres. On Tues­day, he tweeted, “It is im­per­a­tive that these cen­tres should be lo­cated at walk­ing dis­tances from where peo­ple live. I have ad­vised the VC (vice-chair­man), DDA, to en­sure that an amend­ment is ex­pe­di­tiously moved in MPD 2021 so that cit­i­zens can con­tinue to live & ex­er­cise in close vicin­ity.” He added, “We live in a New In­dia where tremen­dous em­pha­sis is laid on health & fit­ness... Peo­ple of all ages head to their fit­ness & yoga cen­tres, first thing in the morn­ing.”

Echo­ing him, a land-own­ing agency of­fi­cial said, “We are go­ing to amend the mas­ter plan to al­low such cen­tres.”

The mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions have also de­cided to push for ex­tend­ing the cut­off date to De­cem­ber 2018. The stand­ing com­mit­tee chair­man of South Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion, Bhu­pen­der Gupta, said they had al­ready spo­ken to DDA.

“Thou­sands of gyms are op­er­at­ing in the city, em­ploy­ing over a lakh. As the ma­jor­ity has come up af­ter 2008, it will be un­fair to seal them. Their as­so­ci­a­tions have also urged us to act,” Gupta said. A del­e­ga­tion, in­clud­ing Gupta, the mayor and the leader of the house, is likely to meet Puri and DDA of­fi­cials soon. “We will ap­peal for re­lax­ing the road reg­u­la­tion,” he said.

On Tues­day, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Ti­wari met Puri along with a del­e­ga­tion of party func­tionar­ies and gym own­ers. Puri has agreed to bring in an amend­ment in the next DDA board meet­ing to al­low these cen­tres in mixed-land use ar­eas, Ti­wari said. “For res­i­den­tial ar­eas, we are clear that there are more ben­e­fits of keep­ing gyms, yoga cen­tres and med­i­ta­tion cen­tres there,” Puri re­port­edly told them.

An SC-ap­pointed monitoring panel has or­dered seal­ing of all fit­ness cen­tres vi­o­lat­ing mas­ter plan norms

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