Delhi’s plan for 2041 to revive old colonies
DDA vice-chairman Anurag Jain said, “The regeneration policy will be one of the key focus areas on the new Master Plan. It is an important aspect, as large parts of the city were developed a long time back.”Updated: Sep 14, 2020 02:58 IST
The Master Plan of Delhi-2041, which is the vision document for the city, will spell out a detailed “regeneration policy” for areas that have come up decades ago and now need better civic infrastructure.
Though the current master plan also allows redevelopment of existing areas but the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has asked the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), which is preparing the next master plan, to work on a regeneration policy keeping the ground realities in mind.
DDA vice-chairman Anurag Jain said, “The regeneration policy will be one of the key focus areas on the new Master Plan. It is an important aspect, as large parts of the city were developed a long time back.”
“The city has grown over the years and so has the infrastructure requirement. Regeneration of old areas in a planned manner will help in providing better civic infrastructure and basic amenities,” said Jain.
Officials said the policy will only provide a legal provision and a road map for redevelopment but it is up to the people of a particular locality to pool in land — the critical component to build new facilities — for more amenities with the DDA only facilitating the effort.
Experts say that bringing people together for such projects was the reason why only two major projects —East Kidwai Nagar and the seven pool residential accommodation colonies — could be taken up under the redevelopment policy under MPD-2021. Since government was the land owner, there was no hurdle in the projects.
Several housing societies in Indraprastha Extension in East Delhi, which came up in the late 70s and early 80s, have been demanding redevelopment. Despite several efforts by some residents, no redevelopment projects were sanctioned in this area. Madan Khatri, president of Vikalp cooperative group housing society, said, “For nearly a decade, we have been running from pillar to post to get the benefit of the redevelopment scheme. Our societies are designed as per the 1962 MPD and can’t meet the growing civic infrastructure needs. We want the DDA to clearly draft the redevelopment policy so that people can benefit from it.”
The resident welfare associations say that the policy will be beneficial for residential colonies that came up four-five decades back. “There are several double-storeyed resettlement developments in Lajpat Nagar, Rajendra Nagar etc., which came up in the 60s. These colonies don’t have the adequate civic infrastructure. But the DDA should spell out the norms, as getting people together for redevelopment is difficult,” said Atul Goyal, president of URJA, a collective of RWAs across Delhi.
Urban development experts agree that a regeneration or redevelopment policy is needed, as there are several areas, especially urbanised villages, unauthorised colonies, resettlement colonies, where redevelopment is the only way forward to improve the quality of life. But instead of a broad policy, efforts should be made to chalk out area-specific plans, they added.
To ensure that the policy gets implemented and people actually benefit from it, AK Jain, former planning commission with the DDA, said the policy should encourage community-based approach and be area specific. “For the redevelopment, we can’t have a blanket policy for all the areas. It should be area specific as the problems of an urbanised village are very different from a plotted colony or unauthorised colonies. There are other issues too which needs to be addressed,” said Jain.
The policy can be useful in improving the civic infrastructure in developing areas with mixed land use, resettlement colonies, unauthorised colonies, rural and urbanised villages and slums.
Sanjukkta Bhaduri, professor of urban planning and dean research at the School of Planning and Architecture, said areas such as Mangolpuri where several resettlement colonies came up in the late 1960s.
“Redevelopment is the only way forward for these areas. But it should be based on the local area plan which must be prepared ward-wise. We also need to assess the impact of the project on the nearby areas.”