DDA approves change of land use for new structure of Ravidas Temple in forest area

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New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) The DDA on Tuesday approved a proposal to change the land use of a plot allotted by it for building a new structure of the Guru Ravidas Temple, which was demolished by the urban body on the directions of the Supreme Court in 2019.

The new structure will come at the Jahanpanah City Forest area here, officials said.

The approved land was allotted by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) 'at the same site' where the old structure existed in the forest area in south Delhi.

The decision to change the use of the alloted 400 sqm of land from 'recreational to public and semi-public for religious purpose' was taken during an online meeting of the Authority, the highest decision-making body of the DDA The meeting was chaired by Delhi Lieutenant (LG) Governor Anil Baijal who is the chairman of the urban body.

In early October last year, the DDA had approved the proposal to allot the piece of land, and also recommended the change of land use.

'After the allotment, a public notice was issued inviting objections and suggestions from the public for this purpose. After that, it went to the Board of Enquiry and Hearing, which cleared the proposal. And, today it was approved by the Authority too,' a senior official said.

It will now be sent to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for the final notification.

Delhi LG Office tweeted the decisions made during the meeting. 'Also approved proposals for change of land use for expansion of facilities of ILBS Hospital and for religious purposes for Sant Guru Ravidas ji temple in Jahapanaha City Forest,' it tweeted.

In August 2019, huge protests had broken out in Delhi and Punjab by members and leaders of the Dalit community after the structure of the old Ravidas temple was demolished by the DDA on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The approved land was alloted 'at the same site' where the old structure existed in Jahanpanah city forest area in south Delhi.

Among other decision approved by the Authority, included modification in Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 pertaining to warehouse or warehousing schemes and area norms for sewage treatment plants (STP), the LG Office said in the tweet.

Revision in development control norms for setting up of fuel stations-CNG in community centres; and extension of existing rates of additional FAR (floor area ratio) and use conversion up to June 30, 2021, were other proposals which were approved in the meeting, it said.

'Advised the officials to closely monitor and ensure time bound disposal of applications under #PMUDAY conferring property rights to the residents of UCs,' the LG said in another tweet.

The Authority also approved the proposed modifications in MPD 2021, after considering the objections and suggestions from general public, on the revised TOD (transit-oriented development) policy.

The revised TOD policy has been incorporated as a separate chapter in MPD 2021. However, it required certain rectifications in the corresponding chapters to enable it to be implemented on ground. In this regard, DDA had invited objections and suggestions from the general public with respect to the proposed modifications in February 2020, officials said.

In the Authority meeting held on December 23 last year, TOD regulations were approved. After final notification by the Centre, it will pave way for implementation of the revised TOD policy, they said.

The additional FAR and use conversion for residential, mixed use, cooperative group housing societies (CGHS), and commercial properties were rationalised and notified in June 2018. However, the policy could not be implemented due to procedural aspects. Therefore, extension of time for applicability of existing rates had been given periodically, the DDA said.

'Due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the existing rates are being retained for a further period of six months i.e. up to June 30, 2021 to provide relief to the lessees/owners of these properties. The Authority appealed to the people to apply expeditiously as this is the last opportunity to avail the benefit under the existing rates.

For expansion of essential facilities at Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS) Hospital Vasant Kunj, the change of land use from 'residential to public and semi-public' for about 5.76 acres land was approved, officials said.