DDA looks to redefine Yamuna river front to exclude illegal colonies

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 29 2013, 13:41pm hrs
With an aim to redefine the boundaries of the Yamuna river front, which is spread over 8,070 hectares, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has invited suggestions and objections from the public on a proposal which will essentially shrink the zone by almost half.

Once the proposal comes into force, colonies such as Sonia Vihar, Meethapur, etc., which are located on the river front, will be excluded from this zone and given a legal tag.

Such areas will be taken out of Zone-O in the review of Master Plan 2021 and added to the adjacent zone. This will shrink the river front to 4,961 hectares - about half its present size. Also Zone O will be re-designated as river Yamuna instead of river front.

The land parcels to be excluded from current Zone-O are Rajghat, IP Power Stations, Millennium Bus Depot, Sonia Vihar, Shastri Park DMRC land, Akshardham temple, CWG Village, Yamuna Bank DMRC land, Batla House area, Jaitpur, Meethapur, Okhla and Jagatpur.

Currently, no construction is allowed on the floodplain, apart from the construction of flats in the Commonwealth Games Village.

According to the new proposal, a total of 3,109 hectares will be added to other zones like Old City, Civil Line, New Delhi, Trans-Yamuna, South Delhi-I and North Delhi.

Justifying this move, a DDA official said, Currently, residents of Meethapur and Jaitpur villages and other unauthorised colonies located on the floodplains are not given permission to renovate or repair their buildings as there is a total embargo on construction activity in this zone. No other physical and social infrastructure can also be created here.

The GIS unit of DDA had undertaken studies based on information such as built-up area, location of villages and colonies, embankment and major drains in order to redefine the area, he said.

The increase in size of some zones will mean that notified zonal development plans will be modified based on the ground realities.

We will also look the additional requirement of social and physical infrastructure in such. Moreover, the Delhi Transport Corporation and the Delhi Metro had raised the ground-level for constructing their depots located within 300 meters of Yamuna so that the structures are not affected by floods. We are looking into ensuring that no more construction happens in these areas, the official said. The river front area will be used for recreational and tourism purposes, he said.