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Going vertical a huge drain on resources

For the island cities of Hong Kong and Singapore the solution lay in going vertical when acute shortage of land became a roadblock to development. Today, together they have more than 7,500 skyscrapers.

delhi Updated: Dec 23, 2011 01:23 IST
Sidhartha Roy

For the island cities of Hong Kong and Singapore the solution lay in going vertical when acute shortage of land became a roadblock to development. Today, together they have more than 7,500 skyscrapers.

In Singapore, four out of five citizens live in a high-rise, most of them part of the city-state’s public housing scheme. With Delhi running out of space, even though the problem is not as acute here, could the solution lie in emulating the successes of Singapore and Hong Kong?

Experts feel that Delhi has a long way to go before it can follow in the footsteps of Singapore and Hong Kong.

"Singapore and Hong Kong are in a unique situation, where due to acute shortage of land, they had no alternative," said Ashok Lal, a reputed architect who specialises in sustainability. Lal believes Delhi should go vertical only when it faces an absolute shortage of space.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23-12-pg04a.jpg

“By going vertical, you have to carry people, goods and water against gravity, which is highly energy-intensive,” said Lal. He said though Singapore and Hong Kong have been able to provide the infrastructure needed for such tall buildings, it also comes at a cost.

Architect Sudhir Vohra feels there is no reason why Delhi cannot go vertical.

“However, Delhi should be able to handle the pressure of services that are required for going vertical. Singapore and Hong Kong have gone vertical along with putting a transportation spine into place,” he said.

About 90% residents of both Hong Kong and Singapore use public transport to travel. “These places have reduced dependence on private transport and people have to pay huge charges to visit the inner core of Singapore,” Vohra said.