Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri Monday said gyms will be accommodated in the new Master Plan for Delhi, which is under deliberation at the moment. At a public event, Puri said: “We will change the master plan of Delhi to accommodate gyms; won’t allow for encroachment of land.”
This comes days after the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee ordered sealing of all fitness centres, gyms and yoga and meditation centres which opened after August 12, 2008. The Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 does not allow fitness centres outside of DDA market complexes or shopping malls. However, an amendment in 2013 had declared gyms and centres that came up before August 12, 2008, as legal.
Brijesh Goyal, national convenor of the Chamber of Trade and Industry (CTI), had written to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs asking for an extension of the deadline.
“We haven’t started working on it yet,” said a senior official of the Delhi Development Authority on amending MPD 2021 to accommodate gyms.
The cut-off for gyms and fitness centres in residential areas, as per DDA notifications, was extended twice from the earlier date of September 6, 2006, to February 2, 2007, and then to August 12, 2008. As per the recent order by the SC monitoring committee, gyms and fitness centres are not permissable after this cut-off as per MPD 2021, “irrespective of the status of the road, that is, commercial, mixed land or non-notified”.
Many stakeholders have asked for an extension of the deadline, including Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor. “The impractical Master Plan allowed car showrooms in residential areas although a family buys a car once in years, but doesn’t allow gyms which are used by a large number of people. We have requested the minister to extend the deadline and give them relief,” said Kapoor.
In a statement, he claimed discrepancies left by the then Congress government while bringing the MPD 2021 is the cause for the sealing threat, and that the Centre should bail them out. Goyal had, meanwhile, cited the example of restaurants: “It has come to my knowledge that the DDA has given relaxations to restaurants on ground floors…The DDA can give us relaxations too.”