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DDA Master Plan experts call for low-rise high-density development, mixed-land use
source: The Hindu
Dated: 25th Sep 2012

“Acquire illegal farmhouses for social infrastructure; use sick industrial plots for residential development”

The Delhi Development Authority on Monday completed a significant milestone in its ongoing review of the Delhi Master Plan-2021. Four technical committees engaged in reviewing four broad areas of the Master Plan came up with presentations on the work done so far and an audience of top public servants, town planners, urban designers and architects offered their views on the broad ideas that the improved Master Plan seeks to incorporate.

The group deliberating on urban form, heritage and development controls said the preparation and implementation of local area plans which was handed over to the MCD for execution had failed because of the civic bodies’ several limitations. They said the plan should be based on 3D mapping done in a time-bound manner involving professionals like architects.

The group also advocated mixed land-use which should be people-friendly and addressing the day-to-day concerns of the common man. They also called for vaguely framed definitions in the Master Plan needed to be re-worded to address ambiguities.

While the DDA had earlier mooted regularisation of farmhouses after levying penalties, the group was in support of acquisition of land for providing roads, green belts, etc. for which the farmhouse owners can provide 25 per cent of the land. They also advocated that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps of the city be made public to enable professionals for future design exercises.

The group on shelter focused on redevelopment of existing buildings and colonies especially in unauthorised colonies and jhuggi-jhonpri clusters. It said the recommendations on density as proposed in MPD 2021 for low-rise buildings with a high density be ratified. The fire safety implications of mixed land use need to be looked at very carefully. The group observed that a large number of houses in Delhi were lying vacant and these need to be put to immediate use.

While the MPD 2021 provides for floor area ratio (FAR) increase in inverse proportion to plot size, the experts group recommended that it should be the other way round and larger plot sizes should have higher FAR with reduced ground coverage.

They also requested the DDA not to forget urban villages where the extended ‘lal dora’ has substantial land available for development. It was recommended that specific guidelines should be framed for extended ‘lal dora’ development.

The group recommended that sites selected for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) need to be declared well in advance even before the metro projects are fully operational to synergise works of various agencies.

A demand for using large parcels of land available with farmhouses to be used for housing projects was also mooted. Large plots owned by sick industrial plots should be permitted to be used for residential development and all Master Plan (MP) roads need to be declared mixed land-use, the group said. The group also advocated that pooling of land be permitted in both planned and un-planned areas for redevelopment.

The group on transport with focus on improved mobility said the TOD plans had to be area-specific and a generic plan was bound to fail. It also called for comprehensive multimodal planning and that road safety audits need to be done. While encouraging car-pooling, the group desired that the share of Public Transport should be increased to 60-70 per cent. It also called for traffic Management Plans to be prepared for all areas and expanding the Bus-Rapid Transit corridor. However, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Satyendra Garg complained that his department should also be consulted in the transport and traffic management plans.

The group on environment and physical infrastructure called for a comprehensive environmental plan for Delhi to be prepared including aspects like seismic zones, biodiversity and climate change. With particular reference to water, the group advocated circular metabolism instead of the current linear approach to encouraging treatment, recycling and reuse. Options of vertical greening and vertical farming should also be explored to enable the city to produce its own food, the group said. It also called for measures to protect the Delhi ridge, Yamuna floodplains and large open spaces for ensuring recharge of ground water.

 

High rise only way to go for Delhi: Kamal Nath
Source: Times of India
Dated: 25th Sep 2012

NEW DELHI: Union urban development minister Kamal Nath on Monday injected a sense of urgency into the entire process of review of the city’s master plan by insisting that vertical development was the only way to go and that “planning has to be driven by market forces”. Speaking at a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) workshop on ‘Review of Master Plan of Delhi 2021’, he said if there were no high-rises, slums would proliferate in the city.

That the infrastructure is groaning under the weight of increasing numbers and quality of life deteriorating in the cramped lanes of once upmarket colonies didn’t seem to weigh too much on the minister’s mind. That power and water are scarce – Dwarka is a stark example – also doesn’t seem to be a deterrent in this skyward thrust. A reality check would have shown that such concerns had put a question mark over even the third floor approved under the master plan. The matter is still in court.

Experts have also pointed out that Delhi is located in Seismic Zone IV and underlined that only through risk assessment studies and a development plan which has a mix of high and low-rise buildings can the city survive.

The minister’s business-like approach, however, seems to have put the entire process on the fast track. It’s likely to be finalized much before the December deadline. Sources said lieutenant-governor Tejendra Khanna has asked officials dealing with people’s suggestions and objections to submit a draft with latest inclusions by October 15. The final plan is likely to be announced before Diwali. That the government is likely to allow more floor area ratio (FAR) for larger properties will cheer developers and owners of big plots.

The workshop was also attended by urban development secretary Sudhir Krishna, DDA vice-chairman S K Srivastava and Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) chairperson Raj Rewal.

About the urban mess, Kamal Nath said, “It is not necessarily bad enforcement, it is bad planning…What will you enforce? How can you enforce (in) 1,600 irregular colonies? Tell me who is going to enforce? Perhaps we are the only country in the world which had to bring in a legislation, Delhi Special Laws, saying we were going to regularize. What is this a tribute to? It is a tribute to bad planning.”

The minister said the concept of National Capital Region had increased the load on the capital with people living here, working in NCR and vice-versa. “Why should we not have high-rises? If we don’t have it, we make it a city of slums. Where is the choice?” he said. He said everyone wanted large open spaces but the ground realities had to be factored in.

DUAC chief Raj Rewal, however, sounded a note of caution. He said highrise development should be site-specific, citing examples of government proposals for Kidwai Nagar and Srinivaspuri as instances where vertical growth did not work. He also referred to a proposal for highrise development adjacent to Vishwavidyalaya Metro station. DUAC had serious objections and rejected all three proposals.

Architects and urban planners pointed out that the master plan was notified five years ago but DDA had not carried out any assessment of the effectiveness of the new policies. “Considering that Delhi has a shortage of land, vertical growth is probably the way out. But vertical growth cannot be applied to the whole of Delhi equally. Risk assessment studies are required to establish which areas are suitable for high-rises. These studies will help establish the development framework for plots where height norms will be eased,” said Professor Sanjukta Bhaduri of the department of urban planning of School of Planning and Architecture.

“There should be a mix of low-rise and high-rise with correct norms for high-rise development so that it works for the city,” added Paromita Roy, senior consultant, UTTIPEC. “Vertical growth will not work in every area of Delhi, especially in narrow lanes. It should be site-specific and need-based,” stressed architect and urban planner Sudhir Vohra.

MCD’s chief town planner, Shamsher Singh, felt Delhi was not equipped for vertical growth in the present scenario. “Vertical growth will put pressure on essential infrastructure like water, roads and other civic amenities. For instance, high-rises cannot be allowed in lanes and congested areas. Moreover, since Delhi is in Seismic Zone IV, it is essential to develop buildings which are earthquake resistant,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the LG defended the controversial farmhouse policy saying these areas should be seen as green lungs of the city. Delhi has about 2,500 farmhouses. Khanna said there was a view that by regularizing farmhouses, the government was losing 6,000-7,000 acres which could be used for urbanization. He said the government can collect charges and the farmhouse owners have to maintain the greenery. Khanna said in areas like Chhattarpur, where ground water availability is quite less, no more capacity should be added.

However, UD secretary Sudhir Krishna said that only a powerful few living in farmhouses and Lutyens’ Zone had control over huge land while the poor and the middle class have to look for housing in NCR cities. “In the garb of many good intentions and logic, Delhi is increasingly becoming a city of haves and have-nots in perpetuity. I have never seen such a city where a large section has no access to housing,” he added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/High-rise-only-way-to-go-for-Delhi-Kamal-Nath/articleshow/16535501.cms

 

Illegal colonies in Delhi result of bad planning: Kamal Nath
Source: Economic Times
Dated: 24th Sep 2012

NEW DELHI: The fact that hundreds of unauthorised colonies in Delhi had to be regularised through legislation is a “tribute to bad planning”, Urban Development minister Kamal Nath said today.

“It is not necessarily bad enforcement, it is bad planning. I think, Delhi has had the problem of bad planning and bad enforcement. It is just not bad enforcement. What will you enforce? How can you enforce 1,600 irregular colonies? Tell me who is going to enforce it,” Nath said at a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) workshop here on ‘Review of the Master Plan of Delhi 2021’.

“Perhaps we are the only country in the world which had to bring in a legislation, the Delhi Special Laws, saying we are going to regularise it. What is this a tribute to? It is a tribute to bad planning,” he added.

Nath said enforcement agencies alone could not handle problems created by poor planning.

The minister also said there was no scope for lateral expansion in Delhi, and added that the concept of National Capital Region had also put a further load on the capital with people living here, working in NCR and vice-versa.

Market forces have to be considered while planning for urban areas, Nath said.

“Today, planning has to be driven by market forces. There was an old concept of DDA making a plan, that we’ll have a community centre here and a shopping centre here. Now you can’t say that there will be a shopping centre here if we can’t determine it with market forces,” he said.

He said high-rises were needed as otherwise slums would keep coming up in the city. “Why should we not have high-rises? If we don’t have it we make it a city of slums. Where is the choice?” he said.

The Minister said everyone wanted large open spaces but the ground realities had to be factored in. “Good planning cannot be good poetry,” he said.

 

News in Navbharat Time dated 19th Sep 2012 on Enhanced FAR Click Here

Live by the Metro or work near one
Source: Indian Express
Dated: 6th Sep 2012

The government is likely to notify in about two weeks three pilot projects to promote intensive development, which include housing, office and shopping complexes, along Metro and other transport corridors. This is in accordance with the Union Urban Development Ministry officials’ recent proposal to develop infrastructure in areas adjacent to Metro stations.

“Two of the pilot projects will be taken up along the Metro lines on Rohtak Road and MG Road, while the third one will be near Karkardooma Metro station,” a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) official said. The Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC) will oversee these projects.

The government has also planned to incorporate a separate chapter on transit-oriented development into the Master Plan Delhi-2021. This essentially means a mix of residential and commercial development, including construction of multi-storey buildings, along transport infrastructure.

At present, the Master Plan provides for development along and around mass rapid transit system stations within an influence zone of 500 metres.

“The transit-oriented development programme is generally characterised by compact, mixed land-use development near new and existing public transport infrastructure. The aim is to have houses and workplaces within a distance that can be covered on foot, say, from public bus and Metro routes. This will help curtail the usage of private vehicles,” a DDA official said.

“We are looking at three pilot projects along MG Road and Rohtak Road Metro lines and Karkardooma Metro station in East Delhi. In Karkardooma, the DDA owns the land adjacent to the Metro station. Land in the other two proposed projects belongs to the government and private owners. A consultant will carry out water and soil tests, besides studying the project’s impact on traffic in these areas,” the official said.

The Karkardooma project, which is in an advanced stage of planning, is going to come up on 30 hectares.

The DDA officials said the planning process for all three projects would be over in three months. “The plan includes a land policy for these corridors. The agencies for these projects will be decided later, but it is highly likely that the Delhi Metro will work on the MG Road project,” an official said. “The best business and economic models for these stretches will be looked into,” he said.

Future projects will be based on the three pilot plans. “Each project is unique and will have its own plan. These cannot be clubbed under a single rule,” an Urban Development Ministry official said.

 

FAR increase in booster dose for city hospitals and colleges
Source: Indian Express
Dated: 1st sep 2012

Illegal Shrines to be regularised

The Union Urban Development (UD) Ministry is looking at the proposal to regularise Delhi’s illegal religious structures that came up before 2007. The condition is that these must have adequate parking space. Kamal Nath said his ministry was working on guidelines for these structures. “Some of these structures were built 25 years ago… We are assessing such structures and will work out guidelines to regularise them. We will also see that they provide parking space and will earmark these areas,” Nath said.

Monorail gets a push

Kamal Nath said the National Capital Region (NCR) should build monorail public transport systems because “it is 40 per cent cheaper than the Metro” and can be set up on prefabricated poles. The city’s first monorail line will be built between Shastri Park and Laxmi Nagar, while 10 more areas will have the system in future. “It can be developed under public-private partnership. The government will financially support such projects. A monorail is more practical because it it is possible to build stations at different levels,” Nath said.

More Gyms, Please

Pitching for more gyms in the city, Kamal Nath said eminent Indian sportspersons should operate such facilities. “This will ensure that the youth get better training. Special facilities such as gyms should be built and the Delhi Development Authority should fund them. London 2012 silver medalist Sushil Kumar met me recently with a similar demand,” Nath said. This, he said, would help produce more sportspersons in the city, which already has facilities at the Commonwealth Games Village and other stadia.

Delhi Master Plan 2021: City’s skyline may go the Shanghai way
Source: Economic Times
Dated: 4th Sep. 2012

NEW DELHI: Delhi’s skyline could resemble Manhattan’s or Shanghai’s if urban development minister Kamal Nath has his way. The minister has mooted verticalisation of Delhi in the new master plan for 2021 by allowing higher floor area ratio in the city, which is expected to increase housing stock considerably and rejuvenate some old commercial areas.

“Property prices in Delhi are too high today and the only way they can come down are by increasing supply,” says Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director (south Asia) at property advisory firm CB Richard Ellis.

Property rates in Delhi, especially in the south and central parts, today are comparable to those in cities like New York and London.

Delhi currently has an FAR of 1.2 (and 3.5 for plots under 100 sq metres) for residential and 1-1.5 for commercial compared to 13 in Shanghai and 15 in New York and Manhattan. Noida too has a higher FAR of 3, Gurgaon allows comparatively more at 1.75 and Hyderabad has allowed unlimited FAR if certain conditions like providing adequate parking are met.As the city has grown to a population of 17 million, these unsustainable prices and lack of vertical development have pushed home buyers towards new urban conglomerations around the city like Noida, Gurgoan, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and beyond. Today, the average property prices in Delhi are at least two to three times that in Gurgaon and Noida.

The tallest building today in Delhi is the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s Civic Centre with 28 floors. In comparison, Supertech is building an 80-storey building in Noida. In Manhattan, the famous Empire State Building, which was completed in 1931, has 102 floors. FAR is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the plot area and the concept behind it is utilisation of land in the most optimal manner.

Today, many people travel to Delhi for work as the overall population density has been spread over a larger area. “Delhi has failed to give housing to the common man due to limitations on FAR and density norms. It also aided in the creation of slums. If FAR is freed, land cost for development will come down, bringing down property prices,” says Navin Raheja, president of the National Real Estate Development Council and a developer with projects in both Delhi and Gurgaon.

So far, what has stopped the Delhi government from allowing higher FAR is the possible strain on infrastructure, like roads, water, power, sewerage that will follow such densification, but that worry still remains.

 

Delhi’s last chance to be a green city
Source: Times of India
Dated: 3rd Sep 2012

NEW DELHI: The new areas of Delhi, categorized as ‘urbanizable areas’ in Master Plan 2021, are mainly tracts of farmland dotted with farmhouses. But now that they have been opened up for urbanization, city-based urban planners and architects want the government to take steps before the developers grab the land and turn these areas into another Gurgaon.

Planners see these areas as a “golden opportunity” to place Delhi on the global list of eco-cities. The opening-up of over 60,000 hectares for urbanization to accommodate about seven million people can be a real test for building an alternative city.

Urban planners insist on urbanizing these villages while maintaining an ecological balance. They say that without any guideline, real estate giants will raise huge skyscrapers but with no security for water or power or very less pedestrian space. There are reports of large areas already being bought, leaving little time to make interventions to design a better peripheral city. Planners suggest that the Delhi government prepare a set of guidelines that builders should abide by to create a “sustainable city”.

“It is a great opportunity to rectify what has gone wrong. We are not talking about very expensive technologies here. It may actually cost far less if private and public developers adopt these technologies. But once the city develops, there will not be any room for change,” says A G K Menon, architect, urban planner and conservation consultant.

Planner and architect Vinod Gupta also stresses that “The development of these fringe areas are the most interesting aspect of Delhi today. Here we have an opportunity to do what has not been done so far. We can study the topography and create norms for builders that will reduce the pressure on the environmental resources quite a bit”.

According to Menon, all buildings should compulsorily develop rainwater harvesting structures in the building, orient the buildings depending on the location and use landscape to minimize energy consumption and ensure optimum density of population in the new areas so that the peripheral cities are less resource intensive.

“Rainwater harvesting has been made compulsory. But it should be inbuilt in every new construction in the new areas. Building materials are also important. Look at Gurgaon, they have used so much glass when it doesn’t suit our environmental conditions at all. The guidelines should specify eco-friendly building materials that require less energy during construction and will help reduce the cooling or air-conditioning load later,” adds Menon.

Planners are also concerned about the optimum population density. It should neither be low density, leading to use of more resources for very few people, nor can it be very high density as “we don’t have the infrastructure to support it. We need to know what is optimum”, says Gupta.

The director of Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Aromar Revi, also bats for optimum density. “A core principle of sustainable urban design is to plan and incentivize condensed urbanism and contain sprawl. This makes cities more livable because many parts are then walkable, which reduces traffic. It also increases access to jobs as poor people have to travel less, and increases water and energy efficiency because these services don’t have to be delivered over long distances.”

Revi also thinks many parts of core Delhi are still low density. It will have an extensive Metro network connecting most parts by 2016 “This will enable people to use more public transport, leading to reduced congestion, air pollution and GHG emissions,” he says.

 

UD minister presses for vertical growth
Favours Increasing Floor Area Ratio, Indicates Major Changes In Delhi Master Plan-2021
Source: Times of India
Dated: 1st Sep 2012

New Delhi: Urban development minister Kamal Nath on Friday made a strong pitch for liberalizing floor area ratio restrictions for Delhi as part of a revised master plan that will be a boon to developers and property owners but may subject the capital’s creaking civic amenities to even greater stress.

Nath’s populist announcements seem intended to boost Congress’s prospects in next year’s Delhi assembly election. The FAR proposals are aimed at spurring a construction boom that could result in more highrises in commercial and residential areas.

The minister cited a growing mismatch between demand and supply of housing to press for going vertical and also offered a sweeping amnesty for unauthorized colonies, saying those living in such settlements cannot be asked to go away.
Arguing that a widening mismatch between demand and supply of housing has resulted in a steep rise in property prices, Nath indicated major changes in Delhi Master Plan-2021 to push housing and commercial projects. He also said the plan should be “driven by market forces”, an indicating a large role for developers.

Nath made nearly two dozen announcements with many aimed to appeal to Congress’s vote banks – whether it was government’s “in principle” stand against demolition of illegal colonies or the promise of houses for poor on a massive scale. The decisions, Congress leaders hope, will arrest the slide in support that the 2011 municipal polls revealed with BJP was voted back despite an indifferent record.

Looking to woo rural voters, the minister said the government is examining extension of Lal Dora (village habitation) areas. This means villages which have overgrown earlier notified boundaries will be exempted from building byelaws.

Besides residential colonies, the minister said an additional list of unplanned industrial areas already notified by Delhi government can be regularized as well. This will end uncertainty of thousands of small industrial units. “This will directly impact people’s lives and livelihoods and help Congress regain ground,” said asource.

The minister pointed to New York and Hyderabad as examples of cities that don’t have FAR restrictions and said, “You may have to go higher… We are looking at more FAR for community service. There has to be an incentive to build higher and the higher FAR will help with the funding of the community facilities too.’’

He justified higher FARs for hospitals and motels. “There is a huge shortage of land. We are considering more FAR for these buildings subject to conditions such as adequate parking facilities and clearances from fire department,” the minister said.

Paving the way for intensive development in more remote areas of Delhi, the minister said in next two weeks four transport corridors could be added to the Master Plan. Justifying radical shifts in policy, Nath said the current Master Plan could not keep pace with the growth of the city. “Either the plan was wrong or the implementation failed…so we have huge number of unauthorized colonies. We have to keep pace with urbanization. We can’t have a Master Plan that doesn’t look into the next 30 years,’’ he said.

Already the apex committee on MPD-2021 headed by Delhi Lieutenant Governor has finalized 23 amendments. These include the present area of 400 sqm in residential group housing societies for community facility would be increased to 1,200 sqm (free from FAR). This would facilitate provision of recreational halls, crèche, library, reading room etc.

“In industrial areas, a residential component is being added for workers which, is currently not allowed. Development control norms are also being made for flexible, particularly for old colleges by defining residential/ hostel/ college building and play field area. They can all go for redevelopment accordingly, as only the colleges know best on what is required,’’ said the minister.

Other amendments proposed in the Master Plan include hospitals with 100 beds on ndustrial plots, as well as redefining the term industrial plots to remove the restriction to 50 workers.

DEVELOPMENT VISION Amendments finalized for Master Plan 2021 review 23

  • Accommodating community requirements within residential group housing projects by increasing the allotment from the current 400 sq m to 1200 sq m (outside FAR)
  • Adopting workers’ housing projects in industrial areas
  • Making norms for educational facilities more flexible by defining residential/housing/ building/play areas
  • Building hospitals up to 100 beds on industrial plots
  • Making norms more flexible for re-development of clusters of industrial concentration in non-conforming areas

Suggestions under consideration

  • A separate chapter on transit-oriented development
  • Review of negative list of industries
  • Promotion of green building design by providing additional FAR
  • Higher FAR for hospitals, motels etc
  • Recognition of extension of Lal Dora
  • Simplification of building-approval process
  • Norms to build multi-gyms in parks

 

Realty boom in illegal colonies, rest is just gloom
Source: Times of India
Dated: 1st Sep 2012

New Delhi: At a distance of less than half-a-kilometre from the Shaheen Bagh police station, near Jamia Millia Islamia University, a fourstorey apartment block is coming up on a large plot in E Block of Abul Fazal Enclave Part – I. The pace of work is frenetic. Work on another building has just begun a few houses away. According to rules, no fresh constructions can be carried out in unauthorized colonies that have been identified for regularization till a policy is in place. But there are builder apartments on both sides of the road here and many have come up in the past two months.

The E to N blocks of Abul Fazal Enclave are on the list of 917 unauthorized colonies notified for regularization by Delhi government. Ownership rights for the residents may still be a long way off but just the announcement of regularization has got the builder mafia working overtime. A realty boom is expected here, particularly in those areas that are located near upscale colonies. For instance, Abul Fazal Enclave is located in the vicinity of New Friends Colony and the price of properties here is skyrocketing. A flat here can cost Rs 40 lakh to Rs 75 lakh and plots over Rs 2 crore.

Emerging from one of these houses, Darkasha Khan says they had bought a flat here as the other colonies were too expensive. “DDA has failed to fulfill the needs of the city. I applied for a house under most of the DDA schemes but could not get one. Thus I had no choice but to come to an unauthorized colony. Regularization for me means legal right over my house,” says Khan, a teacher.

For Moin Ahmad, owner of a departmental store, regularization only evokes cynicism. “There are all kinds of problems related to water, sewerage and roads. Let us see what happens,” he says. Residents from blocks that remain out of the regularization process are more anxious about their future after the notification as they remember the promise of regularization made in 2008 when provisional regularization certificates were handed out.

For most residents of the 917 colonies up for regularization this time, the notification has no meaning without ownership rights. Many feel that it may end up as yet another undelivered promise. For most, the civic mess remains a prime concern. They feel little will change, going by the poor state of affairs in other areas that were regularized with much aplomb during Indira Gandhi’s rule in the late 1970s. In many colonies, the areas regularized earlier and the ones that will get the legal tag now are next to each other and the chaotic state of civic affairs in both is quite evident.

The scene is no different in east Delhi where a large number of these 917 illegal colonies are located. A 10-minute drive from the rubble of what was the site of the Lalita Park building collapse (that claimed 70 lives) is a set of blocks that constitute the “left out portion of Lalita Park”. The rest of Lalita Park has already been regularized. KC Garg, president of the joint action committee of residents of Laxmi Nagar, explains that the section of Lalita Park located along the busy Vikas Marg was regularized in the first round in the late 1970s. “Now the left out portion is being taken up. This was not regularized as the houses had come up on DDA land reserved for the green belt along Vikas Marg,” say residents. When asked about the ground situation, Garg points out the dingy lanes of the Lalita Park that has been legal for over three decades now. Tall buildings made without sanction and a mesh of power cables stand out. In fact, a high-tension line hanging precariously divides the regularized area from the one which has been blessed now.

RWA members bring out the provisional regularization certificates issued by the government in 2008. Surjeet Kaur, a resident, remembers how till a few years back bulldozers were commonplace here and residents would be protesting and lying before them to protect their homes. “Regularization means legal ownership rights for me. This notification is good news but it should have happened after the provisional certificates were given in 2008,” she said. For now, no registry is possible in these colonies. In Lalita Park, people living in the old regularized portion too have not been able to register their properties for nearly two months as the officials were finding it difficult to idenfity the regularized from the unauthorized area as they were contiguous.

But that has not affected the property prices here. Already high, regularization will only further push up the property prices, say residents. The original inhabitants claim to have bought land here for as little as Rs 3000; now a plot costs over Rs 1 crore and a flat around Rs 25 lakh.

In the south is Asia’s largest unauthorized colony, Sangam Vihar. While most of colony has been kept out of the list for regularization as it is located on ridge land, there are two blocks – A and B – which have made the cut. But the residents of A-Block show a distinct lack of enthusiasm. They converge to tell a tale of civic mess and neglect. Sudarshan Kumar peeps out of a tiny snack shop to helplessly shake his head in disagreement that his life will change. “Nothing will happen. I have seen it over the years,” says this man who came from Meerut many years ago.

Overwhelmed by waterlogging, flowing drains and confusion over the relevance of the regularization notification, people are quite cynical. When asked about regularisation, Kamla, a resident of A Block, points to the filth flowing through a muddy lane. Pratap Singh Jain of A Block’s Awasiya Sudhar Samiti emerges from a waterlogged lane that is without any sewers to point out that regularization will be real only when they get authorized drinking water and planned development. “We have 1351 houses in A block but there are just four tubewells to provide for the water needs. Even these tubewells are under the control of the water mafia. Drinking water has to be bought and it’s expensive,” he says, showing a petition drafted by the RWA in which they have listed their water woes.

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Delhi govt makes 917 middle-class colonies legal
Source: Hindustan Times
Dated: 29th Aug 2012

WHAT NEXT Govt, civic agencies will have to build massive infrastructure to legitimise the decision

NEW DELHI: At least 30 lakh Delhiites residing in unauthorised colonies can finally breathe easy.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday regularised 917 colonies spread across the Capital. A notification regarding the same will be issued on Wednesday. “Our stand has been clear since the beginning; we will not allow demolition of a single colony. People have put in hardearned money to construct their homes,” said Dikshit.

These long-ignored colonies will finally come on the civic map and residents will face no difficulty in getting water and power connections. “We will swiftly provide all civic amenities,” said Dikshit.

This will also open up the real estate market as property rates in these colonies are expected to soar. The colonies given the legal tag include Chattarpur, Gautam Nagar, Uttam Nagar, parts of Okhla Khanpur, Sangam Vihar, Jasola, Mehrauli and Mahavir Enclave in Dwarka.

The last time unauthorised colonies were legalised by the government was in 1977, when 567 colonies — mostly in east Delhi — got regularised.
The Delhi government’s move comes barely a year before the assembly elections, and these colonies constitute a major votebank.

NEW DELHI: Though the Delhi government has paved the way for legitimising illegal colonies, several hurdles remain in ensuring that these areas get the same treatment meted out to the rest of the approved colonies in the city. INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY Officials of the urban development department maintained that only the colonies have been given a legal tag, and not the houses. It means that every house owner residing in one of the 917 unauthorised colonies will have to apply to the respective corporations for getting his/her property regularised. “We have merely fixed the boundaries and cleared the colony. People will still have to get their building plans approved from the civic agency concerned,” said a senior Delhi government official.

MULTI-OWNERSHIP POLICY Considering most of the houses in these colonies are builder flats built on a single plot, there is multiple ownership of the property. Presently, there is no such policy under which these people can apply for getting their houses regularised. “Those who can establish their ownership can apply but in the case of multiple ownerships, a new policy will have to be framed by the civic agencies and the DDA,” added the official.

LAYOUT PLANS All the three corporations will now have to prepare the layout plans wherein basic facilities and infrastructure that needs to be created will be earmarked. This includes school, sporting facilities, dispensaries, hospitals, fire stations, etc.

PAY FOR LAND Colonies that have come up on public land will have to pay the cost of the land at the rate of R575 per square metres, and a penalty of 10-15 per cent for areas that are in proximity to the approved colonies. Development charges at the rate of R200 per square metres will also have to be paid by all the colonies whether on private or public land. Respective RWAs will have to approach the government for payment of such charges. INFRASTRUCTURE A number of colonies that were legalised in the 1977 are still in a shambles with basic infrastructure such as sewage, parks, dispensaries and streetlights missing. The government has to ensure creation of infrastructure to make the move meaningful.

 

Master Plan 2021 review by deadline
Source: Times of India
Dated: 17th Aug 2012

NEW DELHI: Hit by scams and controversies, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is looking to start afresh. Newly-appointed vice-chairman S K Srivastava, who assumed office from August 13, assured that the Master Plan-2021 review would be completed as scheduled by December, 2021. He also announced a stream of consumer-friendly measures which will have greater scope for public participation in city planning.

“In two days, I have been told, over 7,000 people visited the DDA office for a variety of issues. My endeavour is to make sure people can get their work done without having to go to DDA,” said Srivastava in his first briefing to the media.

The vice-chairman said that the process of conversion from leasehold to freehold will be totally computerized so that citizens do not have to repeatedly visit DDA for such conversion. “A software has been developed for the process and soon we will be able to launch it. At present, test runs are being done. Through this software, any person will be able to apply online for conversion from anywhere in the world. He/she will be able to track the status and also get full deficiencies through emails. This will benefit thousands of allottees,” said officials. Srivastava also said that a more effective consumer grievance redressal forum will be developed wherein a system will be developed where a consumer does not have to visit a DDA office repeatedly.

Housing remains a prime concern where most of the flats conceived by DDA are either still in construction stage or at tender stage. Houses for economically-weaker sections (EWS) remain a prime concern. “20,000 EWS flats have been taken up at Dwarka and Rohini, about 25,000 at tender stage and many more are at conceptual stage. The target of completion of one lakh houses within a period of three years has been set up and I will ensure that this target is achieved timely. Apart from this, about 9,650 houses are at various stages of construction and will be completed soon,” added Srivastava.

The much talked about football stadium in Dwarka has also been put on the fast-track with a new design as well as work for providing electricity and toilets to parks over five-acre size.

 

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