iconimg Monday, April 27, 2015

Sidhartha Roy, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 14, 2013
To tide over the acute shortage of housing for government officials in the Capital, the Urban Development Ministry plans to redevelop many dilapidated and low-rise government housing colonies that were built in the 1950s and 60s into high rises. Architects, town planners and urban designers in the city, however, feel the plan needs to be relooked into.

As part of the plan, a part of Moti Bagh in south Delhi was recently redeveloped into New Moti Bagh with majority being bungalows to house top government officials. Next in line are colonies such as Kidwai Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, RK Puram and Srinivaspuri.

However, the project to redevelop Kidwai Nagar (East), an area spread over 86 acres, has not gone down well with experts. The project, being developed by the government-owned National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), includes construction of towers varying between six storey to 15 storey tall buildings.

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The proposal was recently presented before the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) and only the six-storey tall towers got construction approval. The DUAC pointed out during its meeting that its observations regarding Floor Area Ratio (FAR) during the project’s conceptual stage have not been incorporated. It’s said at least 50% of the existing trees in the area should be retained.

Sources in the DUAC said that objections were raised in the meeting regarding the repetitive nature of the 15 storey high towers that would nearly be 150 feet high.

Some members also felt that though the area is not part of the extended Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone (LBZ) area, people will be confronted with these tall buildings just after coming out of the low rise LBZ area.

The DUAC has also written to Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna saying the plan should be properly examined before implementation.