Central Vista: Centre approves land use change for 86.1 acres

The Union housing and urban affairs ministry on Friday notified the land use change of 86.1 acres of land in central Delhi for the redevelopment of the Central Vista. This comes in the midst of ongoing litigations challenging the land use and the project. While the urban planners and civil society members say that it is a violation of the court order, a senior ministry official aware of the development said that the land use change has been done as per the law.

For the Centre’s ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project, land use of seven land parcels, including district parks, spread over 101.1 acres has to be changed. While the land use of 86.1 acre has been notified, the land use of 15-acre land parcel, where the vice-president’s new house is proposed, will be changed later on, said a ministry official. The DDA had recently invited suggestions and objections for the change of land use for the 15-acre plot after some changes were made in the rede development plan.

The notified changes include a 15-acre plot on Dalhousie Road near South Block where the PM’s new residence has been proposed by the firm selected to redesign the Central Vista. The land use has been changed from recreational to residential.

The 15 acre plot in Dalhousie Road houses old hutments, which are owned by the Defence establishment, a senior official said.
HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt Ltd, the Ahmedabad-based firm appointed as the consultant for the Central Vista Project, has proposed the shifting of PM’s residence closer to South Block on Dalhousie Road.

The Friday’s notification also includes a 9.5-acre plot where the new Parliament building is proposed. The land use has been changed from recreational to Parliament House. Last month, the CPWD had applied for environment clearance for the Parliament building from the Expert Appraisal Committee under the Union Environment ministry. In March, the EAC had deferred the clearance stating the proposal will be reconsidered after the pending court cases are resolved.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided that all cases concerning land use changes and other issues relating to redevelopment of Central Vista area should be heard by it, considering the larger public interest involved in the matter.

Anuj Srivastava, spokesperson LokPATH and one of the petitioners against the project, said,
“The notification for the change of land use is a deeply disturbing development. There are several unresolved issues as brought out in various representations to the DDA.”

But a Senior housing ministry official said, “The Notification has been done following the due procedure and as per law.” (Source: Hindustan Times print)

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