Not only did the Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain receive this file on 26th August this year and he immediately cleared it within less than 24 hours, the facts with regards to “Redevelopment of Special Area of Old Delhi “ are startling, which are given below :
· In the 23rd Meeting of the Board of Directors of Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) held on 17th August, 2017 under the Chairmanship of Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain, the SRDC had decided to forward the Preliminary Project Report (PPR) duly prepared for Revitalisation of Shahjahanabad to the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India for its consideration under HRIDAY Scheme.
· The SRDC prepared an in-house Preliminary Project Report (PPR) for comprehensive Revitalisation of Shahjahanabad *considering not only infrastructural needs but also socio-economic aspects and transportation requirements. *
· The instant revitalization Plan for Shahjahanabad comprises projects on Heritage Buildings and Open Space Adaptive Reuse; Conservation and Environmental Sustainability (through water body conservation, rainwater harvesting, plantations in parks/streets, etc.); Safe drinking water accessibility; Solid Waste Management and Sanitation; Under-grounding of utilities and Green Energy; Pedestrianisation; Green Transportation; Local Economic Development (business process innovation, logistic solutions, trade barrier reduction, value chain creation & market linkages); Advocacy (through Gender Equity, Heritage preservation, museum, interpretation centers, etc.); Skill Development and Entrepreneurial Innovation and Institutional Capacity Development.
· The parameters for revitalization plan adheres to three basic principles; firstly, the initiative encourages existing socio-cultural and architectural heritage; Secondly it stimulates the local economy, and thirdly, Human Development goals pertaining to basic services like access to Water Sanitation, Health care, Gender equity and Barrier-free environment be achieved with an eye to Urban Design and Architectural design consideration. Accordingly, PPR lays emphasis on revitalization activities, the major component of which shall be:-
(i) Up-gradation of basic infrastructure(ii) Business environment enablers
(iii) Regulatory Mechanism
(iv) Development of Institutional capacity
· The total estimation for the revitalization program for Shahjahanabad is calculated to be Rs 1468.86 Crore (Approx.), *which also included undergrounding of electrical cables in the inner streets of these areas in 6 municipal wards of Old Delhi. *
· This request was sent to the Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs on 1st September 2017 and a reminder was sent on 16th March 2018 requesting them to consider the PPR for the revitalization of Shahjanabad for early implementation under the HRIDAY scheme.
· The next reminder was again sent to the Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs on 10th May 2018 to consider the request.
· There has been no response from the Union Ministry to date.
*Nevertheless, the fact remains that in December 2018, the Govt of Delhi has been able to initiate redevelopment of Chandni Chowk Project which is slated to be completed by March 2020 in record times despite various constraints. The project includes not only undergrounding of electrical cables but it also includes installation of street fire hydrants which will help to meet any fire exigencies 24*7 in katras & galis adjoining to Chandni Chowk Area*
In this context, since the Union Ministry is spreading false claims about the Redevelopment Plan for the Special Area, it owes an answer as to why it chose to remain silent and why did it not cooperate in the proposal submitted to it for the redevelopment of Shahjahanabad in accordance with the zonal plan as it would have paved way to redevelop of Old Delhi area in much-integrated manner?