According to chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Delhi is one of the most comfortable cities to live in despite its burgeoning population and pressure on amenities such as road, water, power and transport.
Hindustan Times editor-in-chief Sanjoy Narayan and Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit release a coffee table book at HT Conclave on Delhi 100 in New Delhi. HT/ Mohd Zakir
"It is a mini India. People from all over the country come and live here. Every body wants a small place here. Jo yahan aata hai woh wapas nahi jana chahta hai," said the three-time chief minister of Delhi.
"It is a modern and a heritage city at the same time," Dikshit said at the Conclave organised by Hindustan Times to celebrate 100 years of New Delhi.
Dikshit also added that despite many challenges in wake of limited space — which is a huge limitation for Delhi — and the lack of its own natural resources, Delhi has managed to grow.
"Despite limited space, Delhi has not gone high-rise. We have space on ground and we don’t feel claustrophobic. With active participation of people we are one of the greenest cities. With 192km of Metro and modern low-floor buses, Delhi is constantly adapting," she said.
"There are no full stops. You have to go on and on to meet the challenges of Delhi. We have to grow," Dikshit added.
"I want people to exclaim with wonder when they see Delhi. It will happen only when we are able to put smiles on the face of everyone who comes here," she said. Dikshit, however, accepted that traffic and health are some of the bigger challenges the city is facing.
With the expansion of the national capital region (NCR) and seamless movement of people between Delhi and satellite towns, Dikshit said the NCR should be one common economic zone.
"The NCR board is a toothless body. We need to take decisions on development quickly and decisively. There is a dire need to give back to the city that has nurtured so many," she said.
With trifurcation of MCD, Dikshit said the government will be able to administer the city better.
"After municipal elections in April next year, the people of Delhi will witness a sea change in municipal administration," she said.
Divya Jaitley was the emcee of the event.