In a bid to regularise several illegal colonies and constructions in the Yamuna belt, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) plans to reduce the city’s Zone O comprising Yamuna and the river front by about 40 per cent.
DDA will re-zone about 3,109 hectares out of the 8,070-hectare zone, it said in a notification dated September 28. Akshardham temple, Commonwealth Games village, Rajghat, IP Power Station, Sonia Vihar and Batla House area are amongst the areas excluded from Zone O.
According to DDA, the dwellers of Meethapur and Jaitpur village and other unauthorised colonies are not getting any permission for reconstruction or repair of their buildings from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on the ground that there is total embargo in Zone O. Notably, MCD is giving permission to construct facility buildings such as school, dispensary and community hall in other unauthorised colonies in other zones, while colonies falling in Zone O don’t get any such permission. These are the main reasons behind re-zoning, DDA pointed out.
DDA has called for public comments on the proposed modifications within 45 days from September 28.
According to a real estate expert, there won’t be any major impact on realty prices in these regions as most of the colonies were built illegally. Moreover, one would need to see the final plan before jumping to any conclusion.
“Through this sort of a move, the administration is trying to legalise whatever illegalities are being done by encroaching the river bed and thereby giving green signal to more. This includes a lot of government-run institutions such as the DMRC township, Commonwealth Games township, DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) depot and even the Akshardham temple. As per the initial plan, the total area available under Zone O was 9,700 hectares. Almost 1,700 hectares disappeared in the new proposal. This plan is surely going to hit legal trouble,” said Himanshu Thakkar, co-ordinator, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People.
The move will also have an impact on the Yamuna Action Plan by the government, as further encroachment would affect the river’s assimilation capacity, he added.