July 2, 2021 9:47:46 am
The resident welfare associations demanded a definite timeline for cleaning of the Yamuna, effective measures to check unauthorised constructions and preservation of South Delhi Aravalli ridge during a webinar conducted by the Delhi Development Authority to seek people’s suggestions on the Master Plan-2041.
195 participants attended the webinar on Thursday during which suggestions and objections were invited on environment, economy, culture, heritage and public spaces.
East Delhi Residents’ Welfare Association Joint Federation president BS Vohra said there are several announcements that have been made over time regarding cleaning of the Yamuna. “DDA is saying in its master plan that it is a blue asset which will be revived. I can see Yamuna as a black asset at present due to drain water and hazardous wastes being released into it. DDA should give us a definite timeline regarding when it plans to clean the river,” he said.
The draft lays down a clear boundary of the buffer zone near the river and how to develop it.
“A 300m-wide green buffer wherever feasible shall be maintained along the entire edge of the river. Wild grassing or other suitable ground-cover vegetation shall be planted for 25-30 m from the river edge, and trees may be planted beyond this grass belt,” it states.
A senior DDA official said that the draft master plan would be notified by the year-end and work on implementation would start from next year. He added that there would also be a provision of yearly assessment from different government agencies regarding the work done.
Vishal Ohri, general secretary of the Local Shopping Centres Federation of Delhi said that the DDA, in its revised master plan, has stated that 50 per cent of areas in the commercial shopping complexes could be used as market spaces, a rise from the earlier 40 per cent. “In that case, we want to know what would be acquired, the garden or open area or parking space,” he said, while adding, “This would lead to loss of greenery or create more congestion.”
Another DDA official informed, “The major issues raised in the webinar were extension of last date for submitting objections and suggestions, incentives to be given for green roofs, regular engagement of stakeholders, regulatory framework for permissible activities to put a check on environmental violations.”
People also suggested that effective measures are needed for checking unauthorised construction and encroachment on public land, minimum area for transit-oriented development to be reduced to 0.5 hectare, preservation of South Delhi Aravalli ridge, rejuvenation of river Yamuna and elaboration on trade-and-commerce provisions required in the draft master plan.
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