ref: Whither Delhi?

ref: L-G calls for major changes in urban planning

A vertical city like any other in the world

Ravi Teja Sharma & Nayantara Rai / New Delhi February 24, 2007

Highrise or low, sprawled out or compact — while the debate rages, the
real surprise in Master Plan 2021 is freeing Delhi from the clutches of
a greedy development authority.

Anew New Delhi is in the making, inspired as much by Manhattan as by
Vancouver. The Master Plan 2021 for the capital is ready but doesn’t
seem to have too many takers. Will it spoil our city? While that is
debatable, the good news is that as the city’s skyline moves upwards,
realty prices might just head downwards, making real estate more
affordable in and around Delhi.

The population of Delhi is expected to touch 2.25 crore by 2021, of
which, according to the new master plan notified by the Union cabinet
earlier this month, 40 per cent will be absorbed as the city grows
vertical in the already urbanised parts, another 40 per cent will find
shelter in the 22,000 hectares of land that will be unlocked, and the
remaining 20 per cent are expected to move to the neighbouring satellite
towns. According to the master plan, there is a need for 4 lakh new
houses by 2021.

But there has been a mixed response to the master plan from various
stakeholders. “When you look at a master plan, it is not so much about
built spaces. In the end, it has to improve the quality of life of
people,” says Prem Subramanium, principal - business development at
Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC).

Romi Chopra of Vasant Vihar residents welfare association feels the
master plan has not engaged the imagination of the citizen during the
planning process.

“The city is going to go vertical. It is a mechanical way of
accommodating population. The master plan does not take care of
essential common meeting spaces for people,” he stresses.