Gita, what's this story? any clue?

MCD to define city spaces and how you build there

Esha Roy

New Delhi, April 13: The MCD will soon be amending the Delhi Municipal
Corporation (DMC) Act, allowing it to change building bylaws in the city.

MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said the existing bylaws have inherent
flaws. ''The same building bylaws apply to all parts of Delhi even though
the city has grown manifold. Many kinds of Delhi co-exist - the Walled City,
Lutyens' Delhi, parts developed by DDA after 1960s, unauthorised
constructions and urban villages,'' he said.

Mehta said the MCD plans separate building bylaws for different kinds of
spaces. Ten categories have been chalked out by its Task Force. These
include urban villages, Walled City, unauthorised colonies and pre-1962
areas such as Malcha Marg and Gold Links (planned by the British after 1947
by scrapping all previous bylaws).

Task Force member and architect Sudhir Vohra said one of the proposals is
''urban renewal'', which means redevelopment of defunct areas. ''Old
unstable structures will be brought down and rebuilt. This is anyway being
done by the builders. Now there will be defined norms for it,'' said Vohra.

Mehta pointed out that redevelopment is absolutely essential. ''Certain
areas such as Karol Bagh have been declared slums under the Slum Clearance
Act. This is because these spaces are overdeveloped, so the government
declared it a slum to stop further activity. But instead of solving the
problem, this gives the builders leeway to construct illegal structures,''
said Mehta.

Heritage will be given importance. Mehta said the MCD will involve the
Archeological Survey of India in deciding the building bylaws. Areas
surrounding a heritage zone will adhere to the aesthetic nature of the
monuments. For example, the height of neighbouring buildings cannot exceed
the monument's.

Vohra said: ''Heritage structures are of two kinds - with archeological and
architectural importance. Town Hall or the SBI branch in Chandni Chowk have
architectural importance. Both need to be preserved.''

Vohra added that a policy is being considered by which architects will
sanction building plans. ''The architects will, however, provide a copy of
the plan to the MCD. This will ensure faster construction and of better
quality,'' he said.

Mehta said that since the 1990s, the Environment Protection Act has gained
importance but it doesn't find a mention in the DMC Act or the building

The MCD is also going to step in where the DDA has been found lacking.
Although the DDA is responsible for the Masterplan and 16 zonal plans, the
MCD will now look at developing sub-zonal and micro-zonal plans defining
land use. This means every colony and plot will be defined, documented and
caste in iron by the civic body.