The urban development ministry’s plans to raze decades-old government housing colonies in south Delhi and construct high-rises could adversely impact New Delhi’s urban design character, feel experts.
High-rises have been planned in many government colonies to replace two-storey high houses built in 1950s and 60s to meet the demand for housing for government officials in the Capital.
When the proposal for 15-storey apartments in East Kidwai Nagar was put before the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) recently, it only got a partial approval. DUAC has also written to Delhi’s L-G that the plan should be carefully re-examined.
“The area (housing government colonies) has valuable land not only from an economic point of view but also in a social and ecological way. Since it is government’s property, it can certainly take a more balanced view,” said eminent architect and urban planner AGK Menon. “The government can’t act like a landlord,” he said.
Urban designer and former DUAC Chairman KT Ravindran said, “The area is next to one of the most congested stretches of Ring Road and it should be seen first if it has the capacity to support the increase in number of people and traffic that would be added.”
“These areas are on the periphery of the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone and high rises here would change the character of New Delhi. Planning is also needed to see its impact on parking, services, traffic etc,” said AK Jain, former Commissioner (Planning), DDA.