Delhi: Civil society seeks more time to submit comments on draft master plan
The civil society members want Delhi Development Authority to extend the deadline for submitting their comments on the draft Master Plan of Delhi-2041.
The draft plan, which was made public for comments on June 9, pushes for mixed-use development, creating large public spaces, reducing built densities through planned regeneration to allow distancing during pandemics, as part of its plans to develop “pandemic-resilient” infrastructure. Apart from pandemic resilience, the master plan also has provisions to reduce seismic vulnerability and the chances of floods in urban areas.
The “Main Bhi Dilli” campaign, a collective of over 40 civil society groups that aims to make the planning in Delhi “more representative and inclusive”, released an analysis of the draft MPD-2041 on Thursday. While experts welcomed the provision for mixed land use development, they stressed on the need for walkability, development of inclusive social infrastructure and provisions for bringing the informal sector under the planning ambit.
They collective also said 45 days was not sufficient to hold public consultations on the draft MPD.
Gautam Bhan, urban researcher and member of Main Bhi Dilli Campaign, said, “It took DDA three years to make the plan, but people have been given just 45 days to submit their comments. We want the DDA to release the baseline data and provide time for suggestions/objections from the day the data is put in the public domain.”
Bhan said zonal plans and local area plans are a must for the effective implementation of MPD-2041. “While a timeline has been set for drafting of policies and regulations for urban villages and unauthorised colonies, no timeline has been provided for preparation of zonal plans. In MPD-2021, there is a provision for local area plans, but those were never made,” said Bhan.
Housing is one of the key issues in the master plan and the draft provides for different types of housing, including rental, to meet the growing requirement. Members of the campaign said the DDA has given the projected demand of housing as 34.5 lakh in the draft MPD. Mukta Naik, a researcher with the Centre for Policy Research, said, “Our demand is that DDA should give the break-up of the 34.5 lakh units in terms of EWS/LIG/MIG and other categories.”
The MPD-2041, for the first time, talks about making Delhi a 24x7 city by allowing a night-time economy. Welcoming the move, Kalpana Viswanath, co-founder and CEO of Safetipin, an organisation working to create safe spaces for women, said, “Night-time economy is a good idea, but for that, we have to first make the city safe for women.”
She also stressed on the need to have a “gender chapter” in the master plan and provision reserving housing for single women.
The campaign also focused on livelihood, mobility and other sectors.