farmhouse party policy / equal policy against slum demolitions

My city values need-to-party and not need-to-study.

This is an objection to the lately announced farmhouse
party policy, with urgent request for equal policy
against slum demolitions till examinations.


Mr N N Khanna, Secretary, MoUD, Nirman Bhawan, New
Delhi - 110011

Sub: Objection to farmhouse party policy / request for
equal policy for Yamuna Pushta till exams

Dear Sir,
Apropos the lately announced farmhouse party policy
that makes a de-facto Plan modification, I wish to
place on record my objection (under my rights u/s.11A
of DD Act, 1957) on the following grounds:
1. The policy has no valid public interest benefit.
Benefit is being claimed on specious plea of shortage
of party-places in Delhi, which is untenable in view
of numerous hotels, clubs, places like IHC, IIC, etc
and even MP bungalows. In any case, party place
shortage cannot be met at cost of nuisance to others
without even giving them an opportunity to object.
2. The policy restrictions fail to fully address
nuisance. Traffic is only one of the problems, not
amenable to solution through restrictions based on
size of farmhouse (regardless of capacity, not merely
width, of access routes) or on baraats (by no means
major mode of conveyance to parties). Freedom from,
besides through traffic, high wattage noise systems,
generator vibrations / fumes, etc, is an entitlement
for which residents in areas like Vasant Kunj have
paid while buying DDA flats. And the ground water that
farmhouses use here is illegally drawn out of a duly
notified critical resource. The restrictions do not
address any of these infringements.
3. The mechanism of a 'misuse fee' levied by MCD at
rate of Rs.40,000 per party subject to maximum of 10
parties per month is devoid of any basis in law, as
(a) Most party places pretending to be farmhouses
attract penal provisions for development in
contravention of the Plan (imprisonment u/s.29(1) and
demolition u/s.30 and 31). A policy to permit
unauthorised use of such development is beyond
(b) Use (of conforming development) in contravention
of the Plan attracts penalty by way of fine ? not fee
? u/s.29(2). A policy to convert misuse penalty to
misuse fee is beyond jurisdiction. In 2002 Supreme
Court quashed a similar initiative to allow commercial
use of industrial plots.
(c) The amount of 'misuse fee', which cannot be
credited to any accounting head being neither misuse
penalty nor license fee, is without basis in law.
s.29(2) stipulates a fine of Rs.5,000 and an Amendment
to increase this to Rs.50,000 has reportedly lately
only been proposed.
(d) This fee extortion is beyond jurisdiction of MCD
since misuse comes within the ambit of DD Act and
rural area falls outside the purview of MCD building

I wish to underscore the following apropos farmhouses
party places in CGWA notified J-Zone:
· they pose more serious environmental concern than,
say, Yamuna Pushta vis-à-vis Yamuna
· routine nuisance they cause to neighbours is far
greater than what, say, Yamuna Pushta does
· criminal / anti-social activities have off and on
been reported in them
· ad-hocism about them will adversely affect J-Zone
Plan, like ad-hoc schemes will O-Zone Plan
· need-to-party justification for their continuing
misuse is unsustainable after rejection of
need-to-study justification for delaying demolition of
Yamuna Pushta till after examinations

The contrast between, on one hand, DDA/MCD enthusiasm
to develop/find party-places to make ado about their
so-called shortage so farmhouse parties can appear
need-based and, on the other, their utter
indifference, assurances to court notwithstanding, to
ensure for children unsettled from Yamuna Pushta any
support to tide them over exams makes me hang my head
in shame, more so because I have failed in my
responsibility as a planner to impress upon my
government the import of its unlawful actions.

In view of the forgoing, I seek, in line with
need-to-party based policy to condone misuse of
farmhouses for a fee, a need-to-study based policy
against demolition prior to examinations, with
immediate determination of fee amount and payment

And I request urgent response to this letter.

Yours sincerely

Gita Dewan Verma / Planner
B.Arch (SPA, gold medalist); M.Planning (SPA, gold
medalist); PG Dip-Research (IHS-Rotterdam, top rank);
Dip-Training (DoPT)
Formerly: Senior Fellow (HUDCO-HSMI), Visiting Faculty
(SPA, TVB SHS), Consultant (DfID, IHSP, Nuffic,
UNICEF, etc)
Currently: Independent researcher / writer and
consultant to citizens' groups synergising on Master
Plan Implementation Support Group

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