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The future is vertical

india Updated: Jan 11, 2007 15:22 IST
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The Urban Development Ministry has a plan in place to meet the city's future housing needs. The ministry is working on a redevelopment project under which many old colonies will be restructured into multistoried apartment blocks that will clear the present civic mess. These redevelopment projects will be carried out through private sector participation.

The proposal is part of the Master Plan 2021 being prepared by the ministry. New amendments to the draft plan will be made once it is cleared by the apex policy making body of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and sent to the Urban Development Ministry for approval.

Unveiling the Centre's plan to set the ball rolling for the urban renewal of old colonies of Delhi, Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken said that the new Master Plan will give permission to construct 50 per cent over and above the existing permissible floor area ratio (FAR) in old dilapidated colonies. Thirty per cent of the common areas will have to be maintained as greens and soft parking.

Asked how the ministry planned to protect consumers from developers and property agents, Maken said that this would be done through the proposed Urban Regulatory Authority Bill. The Bill will have a number of safeguards to protect the interest of consumers and residents.

"Redevelopment is the only practical, realistic and futuristic solution to the needs of the citizens," Maken said. He said that if planned development is not streamlined even now, haphazard development would take place.

"Worldwide, experts recognise that compact cities that provide shelter near place of work combined with good public transport system are sustainable and livable cities. Not the urban sprawl that Delhi is becoming. Hence redevelopment of the old low density residential areas through increased FAR as incentive is the only way out," Maken said.

As per the 2001 census, Delhi has a yearly requirement 75,000 new housing units per year. The Urban Development Ministry says that 40 per cent of the housing needs will be met through redevelopment of the old and dilapidated colonies, 40 per cent will be met through new housing projects in non-urbanised areas (mainly Najafgarh and Narela). The remaining 20 per cent of housing requirement will be developed in neighbouring states in the NCR.

The Delhi government has recommended that the FAR should be increased to 300 from 250 as proposed by the Union Urban Development Ministry.

The draft recommendations have been sent to the ministry for consideration.

On the issue of commercial activities, the Delhi government has recommended that all markets including those in NDMC areas be made into multi-storied buildings and that city centres like Karol Bagh and Walled City should not be declared fully commercial areas. It has also suggested that all schools, nursing homes should be regularised and that diagnostic centres, pathological laboratories and imaging centres should also be treated as professional services.

Email author: paruna@hindustantimes.com

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