A demand for complete statehood for Delhi resonated at the Hindustan Times New Delhi 100 Conclave on Thursday.
The conclave was attended by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, writer and diplomat Pavan K Verma, conservation expert AGK Menon, former convener of the Delhi chapter of INTACH OP Jain and writer Mark Tully.
The multiplicity of authorities that govern the city were pointed out time and again as a problem by the speakers who made a strong pitch for giving the city complete statehood.
Said Dikshit, "There is nothing here that belongs to us. The police are under the home ministry, the Delhi Development Authority is under the ministry of urban development and the NDMC gets its funds from the union government. The federal government doesn't feel comfortable in leaving the running of the city to the state government."
Adding to this, Jain said, "Citizens and those who govern the city need to give more respect to skilled professionals if we want more wonders like the Delhi Metro in the city."
Dikshit also hinted at the possibility of having to go for vertical constructions in the coming years.
"Everyone wants a small place in Delhi and this has put immense pressure on the city. We can't demolish the modern to conserve the old. So, we need to work with what we have," she added.
But the need to preserve the city's heritage was also emphasised.
"We cannot abandon the old in building New Delhi. If we forget the past we cannot build with confidence in future," said Verma.
The panelists also spoke about the challenges of migration.
"Delhi needs well developed satellite towns around it to absorb the heavy flow of migrants or the city will choke," said Tully.