DUAC shows red flag to high-rises in south Delhi | delhi | Hindustan Times
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DUAC shows red flag to high-rises in south Delhi

The Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) has objected to the central government’s proposal to replace old government housing colonies in south Delhi with high rises, saying it would have a significant adverse impact on New Delhi’s character and environment. Sidhartha Roy reports.

delhi Updated: May 28, 2013 00:55 IST
Sidhartha Roy

The Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) has objected to the central government’s proposal to replace old government housing colonies in south Delhi with high rises, saying it would have a significant adverse impact on New Delhi’s character and environment.

In a meeting held recently at the DUAC, which was chaired by commission chairman Raj Rewal and attended by eminent architects and town planners including AGK Menon, Kuldip Singh and Ranjit Sabikhi, the proposals were discussed and were found unacceptable.

To meet the demand for government housing in the city, the Centre plans to raze decades-old houses in areas such as East Kidwai Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar and RK Puram and replacing them with high-rise tower blocks.

The DUAC had earlier written to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, observing that the proposed 15-storey towers in the East Kidwai Nagar redevelopment project would affect the aesthetics and character of the New Delhi area.

Though these areas don’t fall under the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone, they abut this area.

The DUAC feels such high rises next to two-storey bungalows is not advisable. In the meeting, Rewal pointed out that Delhi is a unique capital with low-lying horizontal urban space dominated by trees.

He said the commission has scrutinised a few re-development schemes that recommend higher floor area ratio (FAR) of 250 to 300.

“The schemes as proposed would have a suffocating effect on the open spaces and destroy the emerging future urban design form and architectural character of New Delhi, particularly at a juncture when efforts are on to include Delhi in the list of world heritage sites,” says the minutes of the meeting.

The DUAC has sent the observations of the meeting to the government. It feels that once the government goes for high FAR, it would encourage private developers to claim for equally higher norms.

Experts felt the rational of 200 or 300 FAR needs justification and reasoning. The FAR for particular areas would depend upon its holding capacity in terms of population, services.

Higher buildings would mean more density, leading to more demand for roads, parking woes, traffic circulation, water and power, experts said.