New master plan puts spotlight on illegal colonies

The Master Plan of Delhi-2041, a vision document for the city’s development, will focus on development in all unauthorised colonies, said a DDA official.
Unauthorised colonies — that house nearly four million people — are an integral part of the city and can’t be ignored, urban planning experts said.(sanchit khanna/ ht archives)
Unauthorised colonies — that house nearly four million people — are an integral part of the city and can’t be ignored, urban planning experts said.(sanchit khanna/ ht archives)
Updated on Aug 29, 2020 05:57 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Nine months after the Centre initiated the process of giving ownership rights to four million residents of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in the national Capital, efforts are now being made to bring these colonies under the planning ambit.

The Master Plan of Delhi-2041, a vision document for the city’s development, will focus on development in all unauthorised colonies, said a DDA official.

Officials of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), roped in by the DDA to prepare Delhi’s 2041 Master Plan, said efforts will be made to provide essential services and social infrastructure in these soon-to-be authorised colonies.

Unauthorised colonies — that house nearly four million people — are an integral part of the city and can’t be ignored, urban planning experts said.

Hitesh Vaidya, director NIUA, said, “The new master plan will focus on providing opportunities of regeneration in all typologies of development, especially unplanned residential areas, such as unauthorised colonies, where it is imperative to
improve the residents’ quality of life.”

For this, the NIUA and the DDA will hold a meeting with resident welfare associations of these colonies on September 2 to discuss their concerns and identify issues to be addressed.

A senior DDA official said, “We are holding consultation with all stakeholders. This is to understand their problems faced by people in these localities, what they want and how those issues can be addressed better.”

Though the contours of the new plan are yet to be finalised, Vaidya said, efforts will be made to create provision of social infrastructure in such illegal colonies. “We are looking at aspects such as provision of social infrastructure — like schools, parks etc — wherever possible. NIUA is supporting DDA with public engagement and we look forward to all stakeholders and residents using this platform to provide constructive suggestions for the next master plan,” Vaidya said

The Centre handed ownership rights documents to 20 property owners under the Pradhan Mantri Unauthorised Colonies in Delhi Awas Adhikar Yojana (PM-UDAY) last year, days before the model code of conduct for the February 2020 Delhi assembly polls came into force.

Ownership rights to residents of unauthorised colonies was one of the main poll planks of the BJP in the assembly elections held earlier this year.

The DDA, the nodal agency for implementation of PM-UDAY, recently resumed the process to give ownership rights.

Urban planner Shamsher Singh, the former chief town planner of the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi, said while ownership rights are being given, they can’t get building plans sanctioned as per the existing MPD-2021 norms.

“In some of these unauthorised colonies, the lanes are not wide enough because of which the building plans can’t be sanctioned. They need a different set of development control norms,” Singh said.

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