New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has observed that once state governments consent to be regulated by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) law regarding carrying out development work, they cannot renege by claiming that land is a state subject.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw cautioned various state governments to not fall victims to the havoc and "anarchy in development" that would be created as a result of the regional plans drawn up in violation of the NCRPB law.
"We remind the said states that having consented to be regulated by the NCRPB law, it is now not open to them to renege therefrom and to contend that land is a State subject. The states should not forget that they shall also be victims of the havoc, resulting from violations of the regional plan, and anarchy in development," the court said.
It also advised the states, which included Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and National Capital Territory of Delhi not to indulge in violations of the regional plan for short term gains.
"Neither of the participating State/Union Territory for its own short term gains ought to indulge in violations of the regional plan," it said.
While observing that the importance and necessity of planned development, for which the NCPRB Act was enacted, cannot be undermined, the court said its hands were tied "on account of territorial limits of our jurisdiction".
Thus it directed NCPRB to "monitor and be vigilant" of the developments at site in the National Capital Region (NCR) and also in preparation of the sub-regional plans and master plans of the towns falling in the NCR and to immediately, upon finding any violations thereof, take action..."
The court also directed the Board to keep the central
government informed, from time to time, about the violations of regional plan that it comes across.
The bench directed the Centre to "stay abreast of the functions of NCRPB" and to dissolve it and take over its functions if the Board is found to be unable to fulfill its purpose to ensure compliance of the regional plan.
The court also "implored" the state governments to "forget legalese and technicalities" and to "ensure that the purpose for which NCRPB was created is fulfilled in letter and spirit by ensuring that the developments in the respective sub-regions of the NCR are in accordance with the regional plan and by fully cooperating with NCRPB in this respect.
The bench passed the order while disposing of a PIL alleging that various states, including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi, are acting in contravention of the regional plan drawn up by the NCRPB.
The petition had averred the said states were obliged to prepare their respective sub-regional plan and master plan for the parts of their respective states covered by NCR in conformity with the regional plan and to thereafter only carry out development in the said parts.
However, they were going ahead and allowing development contrary to the regional plan, thereby defeating the very purpose of harmonious development of the NCR to save Delhi from population explosion and to avoid haphazard development, the petition had said.