It's time for Delhi to touch the sky, feels Union urban development minister Kamal Nath.
A strong votary for Delhi going vertical to grow, Nath once again reiterated the point at a workshop organised by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on Monday on the review of Master Plan for Delhi - 2021.
"In Delhi, there is no scope of lateral expansion. We have no law to stop people coming," Nath said.
He said that growing economic activity in the Capital is generating more jobs that attracts people to the city and also creates demand for more housing."Why should we not have high-rises? If we don't have it we make it a city of slums. Where is the choice?" he said. Nath said everyone wanted large open spaces and expansive greenery but the ground realities had to be factored in.
"Good planning cannot be good poetry," he said.
Nath believes that Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for both residential and commercial buildings should be increased to allow high-rises to come up.
Not everyone, however, is enthused about the idea.
Eminent architect and Delhi Urban Art Commission chairman Raj Rewal said high density does not necessarily mean high rises and low-rise areas can be made dense too.
"We are suddenly waking up to this problem and might commit a mistake," he said.
He said high-rises should be spread in different areas and not concentrated in a few areas.
Also, Rewal, who is known for designing the Asiad Village in 1982, said that densification of residential areas should be a mix of high rise and low rise structures.
There were also suggestions that reasons behind many housing units in the city remaining vacant should be removed.
"The issue now is density, not high or low-rise," said a town planner who didn't wish to be named.
"What we need is higher density in low-rise but redeveloping existing plotted areas."