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Experts call for road map to implement Delhi Master Plan-2041

So far, the planners have had a top down approach while preparing the master plan, which is the blueprint for development in the city. The Master Plan of Delhi-2041 will lay down guidelines for the next 20 years on how and where Delhi builds its homes, offices, schools and industrial zones. But urban planners say the approach to planning should be changed.

delhi Updated: Nov 29, 2018 12:53 IST
Risha Chitlangia
Risha Chitlangia
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi,master plan of delhi 2041,MPD
Economic activity would be one of the indicators for the new MPD. (HT File )

As work began on the preparation of the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD)-2041, urban development experts say the new plan should be based on ground realities and public participation in the initial stages. Urban planners say the plan should also provide a clear strategy for its implementation.

So far, the planners have had a top down approach while preparing the master plan, which is the blueprint for development in the city. The plan will lay down guidelines for the next 20 years on how and where Delhi builds its homes, offices, schools and industrial zones. But urban planners say the approach to planning should be changed. “There is a need for greater public participation while preparing the city’s master plan. The way the city has grown, one set of norms can’t be applied to all areas,” said AK Jain, former planning commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA)

In the present master plan (MPD-2021), public consultation was done towards the end, say urban planners. Citing Kerala as an example, Jain says, the state has prepared an integrated district development plan based on the inputs provided from local area development plan. “Delhi should also follow a similar model while preparing the plan. A metropolitan planning committee with representation from all stakeholders should prepare the plan based on the inputs provided by the 272 local area plan committees,” said Jain.

This will help in addressing concerns from all areas, as each area/municipal ward has different concerns. KT Ravindran, urban designers and former chairman of Delhi Urban Art Commission, says planning experts that development control norms should factor-in the ground realities. “The plan should be based on fundamentals of sustainability which are water, waste and energy. Higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR) shouldn’t be allowed, if water requirement can’t be met. Dwarka is a case in point. High-rises were allowed in Dwarka despite acute shortage of water in the sub-city,” he said.

With the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) — an autonomous research and advisory body under the Union housing and urban affairs ministry —planning to integrate the master plan with Geographic Information System (GIS) data and data on air pollution, congestion, etc, experts suggest that all the existing policies should also be integrated with the plan.

“The city has a drainage master plan prepared by IIT-Delhi. DJB has prepared sewer master plan. These plans should be integrated with the master plan. The MPD should give a plan to connect the Ridge and the Yamuna once again through the stormwater drain system,” said Manoj Misra, convener, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.

While the MPD-2021 addressed issues related to environment, transportation etc, planners say, it has largely remained on paper due to lack of clarity on strategy for implementation.

For instance, MPD-2021 mentions preparation of local area plans (LAP) as a key to effective implementation of the master plan at the micro-level. “But LAPs couldn’t become a reality, as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Act, 1957, doesn’t have provision for it. The new plan should provide an action plan or implementation strategy,” said Sanjukkta Bhaduri, professor of urban planning, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA).

To ensure effective implementation of the plan, experts say, amendments to the plan shouldn’t be allowed and there should be third party monitoring system. “There should be a third party evaluation of the implementation of the plan,” said R Srinivas, chief town and country planner, Town and Country Planning Organisation.

The civic bodies, which are one of the main government bodies responsible for the implementation of MPD, have faced difficultly in the executing the plan. Shamsher Singh, former chief town planner of the South corporation, says the MPD-2021 has been amended to regularise whatever has come up illegally. Referring to the recent sealing of commercial establishments in the city, Singh said, ““MPD-2021 didn’t take ground realities into account. Today, residential areas in the city have lost their character due to rampant commercialisation. Through various amendments, whatever had come up illegally in the city has been legalised,” he added.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 12:52 IST