HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Proposal to turn city parks into cultural hubs

Sidhartha Roy , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 21, 2013
First Published: 00:58 IST(21/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:00 IST(21/5/2013)

Parks in Delhi may soon have restaurants, art galleries and cultural performances, if a proposal by the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) is implemented.


“We want parks in Delhi to be more lively. Restaurants and art galleries should be allowed to come up in park corners in the city,” DUAC Chairman Raj Rewal told Hindustan Times.

The DUAC has sent the proposal to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which maintains one of the biggest parks in the capital. The proposal is under consideration in DDA, senior officials said.

DUAC also wants parks in the same area to be connected to each other through pedestrian pathways, so that park users can have unhindered accessibility. “In many areas in Delhi, two to four parks are situated close to each other in the same area. If these parks are connected, people can seamlessly move from one park to another,” Rewal said.

Though parks in Delhi are maintained by different agencies, DDA has the largest role to play with over 5,050 hectares of green area under its jurisdiction. This includes bigger district parks and many smaller neighbourhood parks. The authority spends about R40 crore every year for developing new green areas and for maintaining the already developed greens.

“The proposals from DUAC will be examined and their compatibility according to Delhi’s Master Plan norms would have to be seen first before the proposal is accepted by DDA,” said a senior DDA official who did not want to be identified. “Creation of restaurants or art galleries would require change of land use of green areas,” he said.

The official, however, said that connecting parks in an area might not be feasible. “It is difficult to make parks contiguous if they are divided by roads. For instance, large green areas such as Astha Kunj in south Delhi are divided by wide roads and creating pathways through them would require traffic circulation plans to be changed,” he said.

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