New Delhi, October 5
The Centre Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it has decided to not accept the recommendation made by the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) on the exclusion of certain areas in the city from the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone and has remanded the issue to the Commission for reconsideration.
Justice Rekha Palli, who was hearing a batch of petitions seeking the implementation of the recommendations, was informed by the counsel for the DUAC that now the meeting of the Commission was scheduled to be held on October 7 to consider the Centre’s action.
Senior Counsel for the petitioners, who are the residents of the areas which were proposed to be excluded, contended that the rejection of the recommendation was malafide and without any due application of mind by the authorities.
“Issue is that they (Centre) are not accepting. As a court, we will hear the matter at length. We will have an idea (after the Commission’s meeting),” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on October 18.
The court added that it expected the Commission to examine the queries put forth by the Centre at the time of remand.
Several plot owners and residents of Sundar Nagar, Golf Links, Bengali Market, and Panchsheel Marg, who are desirous of reconstructing or making alterations in the existing buildings, have approached the high court seeking a direction to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to implement the recommendations made by the Commission in 2019.
The petitioners stated that one of the recommendations, which were made by the Commission in terms of the statutory duty cast under the Delhi Urban Art Commission Act 1973, was that certain areas in the city, including Jor Bagh, Golf Links, Sunder Nagar, Bengali Market, Ashoka Road, Mandir Marg, Panchsheel Marg, Sardar Patel Marg, and Chanakyapuri, ought to be excluded from the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone.
In the petition concerning the Bengali Market area, the petitioner defended the exclusion on the ground that the area comprised small residential plots of land measuring 212.5 sq. yards to 500 sq. yards and the developed properties could not be considered as ‘bungalows’ as is commonly understood and as also described in the report submitted by the Commission.
In August, the court had directed the Ministry to decide on the recommendations made by the Commission within three weeks while in mind that the peculiar bungalow style features of the zone and the fact that the recommendations did not seek to interfere with the LBZ guidelines but only suggested the exclusion of some areas having modern constructions. — PTI
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