Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri to Change Master Plan of Delhi to Accommodate Gyms

This news follows the outcry of whole of the fitness industry in Delhi, days after Supreme Court’s monitoring committee issued orders to seal gyms, fitness centres, yoga and meditation centres which opened after August 12, 2008.

This Monday, addressing in a public event, Hardeep Puri said, “We will change the master plan of Delhi to accommodate the gyms; won’t allow encroachment of land.” Hence, the fitness centres will be accommodated in the new Master Plan for Delhi, which is under deliberation at the moment.

This comes days after Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee ordered sealing of all the fitness centres/gyms which opened after August 12, 2008. The Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021, does not allow fitness centres outside of DDA market complexes or shopping malls. However, an amendment in 2013 had declared gyms and fitness centres that came up before August 12, 2008, as legal.

Reportedly Brijesh Goyal, national convener of the Chamber of Trade and Industry, had written to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs asking for the extension of the deadline. However, a senior official of DDA said that they haven’t yet started working on amending MPD 2021 to accommodate gyms.

The cut-off for gyms in residential areas were extended twice as per DDA notifications. The earlier date of September 6, 2006 to February 2, 2007 and then to August 12, 2008. As per the SC monitoring committee, gyms and fitness centres are not permissible after this cut-off date as per MPD 2021, irrespective of the status of the road – commercial, mixed land or non-notified.

Many stakeholders have asked for the extension of the cut-off date, including Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor. “The impractical Master Plan allowed car showrooms inside the residential areas although a family once in years, but doesn’t allow gyms which are used by a large number of people. We have requested the minister to extend the deadline and give them relief.” He said.

It has also been indicated by him that the discrepancies left by the Congress government in bringing up the MPD 2021 is the cause of sealing threat and the Centre should take measures to bail them out. Goyal gave example of restaurants on ground floor which have been given relaxations by DDA. Similarly, DDA can give relaxation to Gyms and Fitness Centres.

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