Green lessons from Delhi

Green lessons from Delhi

Land sharks, in connivance with the political class, have played havoc with Bengaluru’s once celebrated greenery. Every rule in the book has been violated to encroach water bodies, parks and open spaces. But as rules are now being bent to give the illegalities an official blessing, here’s a look at Delhi, where stringent norms have largely kept the green cover intact.

Fifteen to 20% of Delhi’s total area has been allocated for parks/green belt in the Master Plan 2021, as a senior Delhi Development Authority (DDA) official explains. The proportion of land earmarked for parks and playgrounds in residential colonies depends on the population density in that particular area.

The DDA has ensured that the builders adhere to the building bye-laws and strictly follow the layout plan leaving adequate space for parks and other civic amenities. The master plan applies equally to the whole of Delhi, but the Lutyens’ Bungalow zone follows different building bye-laws (those meant for bungalows). Since the area of plots there are big, their Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is also different.

The neatly laid out roads and parks in the national capital are proof enough that the rules are largely followed, a striking contrast to the haphazard manner in which several BDA layouts in Bengaluru have developed over the years. Areas earmarked for residential sites have been totally taken over by commercial complexes here. Civic amenity sites are routinely encroached, parks and playgrounds taken over clandestinely by commercial interests.

In Delhi, the master plan provides for lung spaces with extensive open spaces in the form of various greens. DDA has retained the natural features such as ridges and green belts. The greening project is categorised as parks, district parks, neighbourhood parks, city forests, historical landscapes, sports complexes, green belts and tot lots.

Usually, the green lots or parks after development of a particular colony are shifted to the local civic bodies for maintenance. But bigger greens are retained by DDA for upkeep and maintenance.

The Delhi Master Plan 2021 cites data from MPD 2001 to show that (8,722 hectares) 19% of the total urban land area of 44,777 hectares have been earmarked for green/recreational use. This includes 1,577 ha under the Northern, Central and South Central Ridge and 7,145 ha of district parks, city parks and community parks. Besides, a large chunk of green area is provided in the form of neighbourhood parks/tot lots.

*Parks/open spaces and playgrounds:
Parks/open spaces and playgrounds shall not be less than 15% of the total land area. This shall be relinquished to the  Authority (free of cost and free of encumbrance) and if required, the authority may hand over the area for  maintenance to the residents’ welfare association. If the land is not maintained up to the satisfaction of the authority, it shall be restored to the authority.

*Civic amenities and Roads:
i) After making provision for Parks and roads in the lay out, the balance portion of land shall be earmarked for civic amenity site only. Such CA site shall be relinquished to BDA free of cost and free of encumbrance.
ii) If the area that remains after making provision for road and park is less in extent, then the authority shall have the discretion to earmark such land for park.

(With inputs from Avinash Singh Sudan in Delhi)

Source: Deccan Herald
Dated:25th July 2016

Category : MPD-2021 News

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