Urban Renewal by Citizens Towards a Framework for the Planned Development of Unauthorized Colonies

A Proposal for Comprehensive Redevelopment of Aya Nagar Village and its Proto-Urban Extension in New Delhi

The first step was to identify the essential requirements of the community. For this purpose a non-profit society, Aya Nagar Vikas Samiti, with representatives from the different sections of the community and a public official as its chair, was registered. It initiated some public works in the settlement, implemented by the concerned departments of the State government. The process, however, was slow and real improvement difficult to achieve.

In October 2008, Delhi Kalyan Samiti, a body under the finance department of the GNCTD, sanctioned a grant in aid to Greha to carry forward the work in Aya Nagar. The project report submitted to the Delhi Kalyan Samiti identified 3 phases of the programme, to be delivered in five years.

Aya Nagar Development Project: Report on First Phase

The first phase of 6–9 months duration was of research and development of an appropriate methodology, with the design of an ecologically viable and sustainable water cycle for one neighbourhood adjoining the village Johar (the central rain water harvesting structure).

It became evident that further implementation of the development programme was beset with procedural and administrative complexities. The nature of development activity in spontaneous and unauthorized sections of the urban habitat was not well understood. A dialogue was initiated with agencies to create understanding of development issues, and a policy formulation is outlined which uses the field experience of the first phase to project a framework for planned development in the next phase.

Position Papers and Articles: Governance Framework for Unauthorised Colonies

The spread of unauthorised colonies in the cities has assumed significant proportions, estimated 4 million in Delhi alone. A new paradigm is required to address and resolve the complex set of environmental, cultural, and legal issues arising from this ‘spontaneous’ development.