Widespread criticism of the draft Master Plan for Delhi-2021 by town planners, architects, citizen activists as well as academicians has finally forced the Union Urban Development Ministry to take cognisance of the fact that the plan has to facilitate living for the aam admi.
A senior official of the Ministry said that January 31, the last date for all non-conforming business establishments in residential areas to file their affidavits before the monitoring committee, is being taken as the deadline for finalising the Master Plan.
Regularisation of unauthorised colonies, the new slum rehabilitation policy, formalisation of private participation in the housing sector, the land acquisition policy and the setting up of a urban regulatory authority will all be worked into the new Master Plan before it is notified.
When contacted, Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken confirmed that the Ministry was working on a war-footing to make the Master Plan directives both easy to understand and easy to comply with.
"We will be getting expert views on different subjects before finalising the future course for developing the city," he said.
Although officials say that there was not enough time to get peer reviews done and get a holistic view of the Master Plan as was done by the Ford Foundation experts in 1962 and the Delhi Urban Art Commission in 1991, expert inputs would be taken on all aspects of development.
Special emphasis will be on environmental and ecological factors as well power, water and sewerage and transport that are the basis for making development sustainable. Apart from setting the goals and objectives for meeting housing and shelter needs of all sections of the society as well trade, commerce and evolving service industry, the master plan will also have to provide for foolproof systems of plan monitoring, officials said. Expert opinion will be taken to make the plan realistic and implementable, it was added.
Over thirty planners and architects in the city had recently petitioned the Supreme Court that the Master Plan proposals in their present form will only perpetuate the system of corruption and arbitrariness instead of making the city livable for the common man.