DDA may amend master plan to save ‘illegal’ gyms
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