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.