Delhi will be able to monitor progress of next Master Plan
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Delhi will be able to monitor progress of next Master Plan

For the first time, Delhi’s development plan will have provisions to monitor its implementation on the ground — with details of how their suggestions should be implemented in specific areas.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2019 14:00 IST
Vatsala Shrangi and Risha Chitlangia
Vatsala Shrangi and Risha Chitlangia
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Master Plan of Delhi 2041,Delhi's Master Plan,delhi news
Experts say one of the main reasons for the poor implementation of the present master plan of Delhi, which is valid until 2021, is the scant data available to assess its progress over the years. (AFP)

A city that’s green and encourages biodiversity, is child-friendly, safe for women to commute and walk in, and has plans and systems in place to meet its housing, water and waste disposal needs — that’s what the Capital aims to be as it gets to work on the Master Plan of Delhi-2041.

The objectives are clear, but getting there won’t be easy.

For the first time, the city’s development plan will have provisions to monitor its implementation on the ground — with details of how their suggestions should be implemented in specific areas.

To this end, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), an autonomous research and advisory body under the ministry of housing and urban affairs, is gathering baseline information and is in talks with the Delhi government and agencies, including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Police and the city’s municipal corporations. The aim to is to identify the gaps and work out ways to plug them.

“We want to have inputs from various stakeholders before we start the planning process. We will complete the baselining work by April-May. This information is crucial to identify the gaps in services and policies. We will be able to address the gaps in the new master plan. It will also help in measuring the progress over the years,” said Jagan Shah, director of NIUA.

One of the main reasons for the poor implementation of the present master plan, which is valid until 2021, is the scant data available to assess its progress over the years, experts said. NIUA officials say they are now adopting a bottom-up approach towards preparing the new master plan, which will come into effect in 2021.

For instance, the present master plan broadly talks about the status of land (forest, developed and undeveloped) in the city, but there is no detailed data available about how much land is occupied by slums, unauthorised colonies, planned residential and commercial areas, and how much is lying vacant. This has led to encroachments going unchecked.

In the new Master Plan, all the slums, unauthorised colonies, resettlement colonies, vacant and plotted land, will be mapped. NIUA officials say this exact data will help in planning development projects in the future and ensure proper utilisation of land

For effective implementation of MPD-2041, NIUA will help the local bodies develop local area plans (LAP), which, experts say, are critical. This was one of the key suggestions made by urban planners at the School of Planning and Architecture.

“Apart from the need for a participatory approach, we have suggested them ways to use technical data, projectise the plan and also prepare local areas plans,” said Sanjukkta Bhaduri, professor of urban planning and dean (research) at the School of Planning and Architecture.

LAPs are crucial for the successful implementation of the master plan, she said.

NIUA is collecting data broadly on nine areas: economy/employment; environment; heritage; land; housing; social sectors; solid waste management; transport; and water.

The institute has held focus group discussions with public health experts, urban planners, and environment experts, among others. In the coming days, it plans to talk to street vendors and people employed in the informal sector, resident welfare associations and groups that work with the disabled, among others.

Efforts are being made to address issues related to inadequate child-friendly infrastructure, especially near schools and residential colonies, NIUA members said . In a meeting with NIUA, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) suggested planning of integrated child services centres to cater to the needs of children of different age groups and social and economic backgrounds.

“The idea is to shift the focus to planning and providing child-friendly infrastructure and services at the ward level. An integrated child care centre offering services such as counselling must be planned and established in every municipal ward to cater to all groups of children,” said Ramesh Negi, chairman of DCPCR.

The state of physical infrastructure for children in the city of 19 million people is dismal, said Negi. The city has few green spaces and open areas and lacks a sufficient number of day care centres such as anganwadis. The ones it has haven’t been planned keeping in mind the needs of the large population in the 0-18 years age group, he said.

Kanak Tiwari, project coordinator of MPD-2041 and head of the child-friendly smart cities project at NIUA, said: “The study is mainly based on secondary research but some on-ground surveys were done, including that of mapping the number of schools across Delhi, and the number of fire stations in the proximity of each of these institutions. This is because fire stations are the first response unit in case of an emergency.”

NIUA is also looking at making the city, especially residential areas and markets, walkable in a bid to make them safe for children and women. The agency will hold consultation with non-government organisations like Safetipin, which provides technology solutions to make cities safer for women and others.

Dark spots need to be fixed, said Kalpana Vishwanath, chief executive officer, Safetipin. “For instance, Dhaula Kuan is an important intersection, but gets desolate and dark after dusk; needs to be worked upon,” Vishwanath said.

Among other focus areas are expanding the city’s green cover, measures to curbing dust pollution, development of the Yamuna river banks and floodplains, and fixing a potential water crisis staring at the Capital because of depleting groundwater levels.

First Published: Jan 10, 2019 12:30 IST