Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri
Saying that “bureaucrats don’t keep ministers in the loop on matters related to land, which is a reserved subject”, the Delhi government Monday rejected Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri's claim that it stalled notification of the redevelopment plan for special areas, prepared by the North MCD and the DDA in 2017.
Puri implied that had the redevelopment plan been notified, the proliferation of illegal industrial units in areas such as Anaj Mandi — which also falls within a special area — could have been stopped.
The Delhi government Monday released file monitoring records, claiming that the file concerned reached Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain's office on August 26, 2019, and was cleared in a day. As per records, Law Minister Kailash Gahlot had received the file on July 15 and had cleared it in a day as well. On December 5, Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev sent the file to Lt Governor Anil Baijal.
“The elected government of Delhi has been kept out of the entire process of Master Plans by the DDA and other wings of the central government, citing that it has no say in the matter since land is a reserved subject under the Constitution, meaning it is under the exclusive domain of the Central government like police and public order,” Jain’s office said.
Apart from claiming that the plan was approved by North corporation in March 2017, Puri said that the entire proposal was sent to the Urban Development Department of Delhi government for notification in official gazette in April 2017. However, the Delhi government said Puri was “exploiting” a tragic incident “for political reasons and it is unbecoming of a union ministry to become a part of this dangerous game”.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has notified three separate committees to recommend ways to strengthen fire safety norms in coaching centres, nursing homes and restaurants and hotels. The panels, which have been asked to submit reports to a committee under the Chief Secretary within two months, were notified on November 27.