DELHI: Vertical growth was the catchword at all discussions about the city's development in 2013. But the idea, backed by urban development minister Kamal Nath, divided urban development experts, landowners and various authorities sharply.
However, heritage bodies have opposed Nath's plan. Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) and Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) have made their opposition to the idea of 'vertical growth' amply clear. INTACH's Delhi Chapter convener, A G K Menon , describes Nath's policy as 'a disaster in the making'. He says, "Ecology not economics has to drive Delhi's growth forward" , adding, "This policy is very impractical. We don't have enough resources to support it. For a long time we have been voicing our concerns and have met the minister to explain our reservations. But we have not seen any encouraging signs." Road space, parking space, playgrounds, and other basic necessities will have to be created to accommodate the needs of all the people living or working in high-rises , and implementing the policy in the city's congested pockets looks quite impossible. DUAC says the capital needs site-specific studies . "If the infrastructure supports high-rise buildings , there shouldn't be anything to deter its growth. There are some areas in outer Delhi where the required space and resources to grow vertically are available," said DUAC chairman Raj Rewal . "The advantage of this concept is obviously that it will reduce the distance one would have to travel between work and home. But if not overseen carefully, this policy may do more harm than good" .