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Jai Feb 20, 2007 2:35 AM

Delhi Master Plan 2021 -- Delhi's Skyline to be Radically Changed
Cross posting latest developments from SSC India

Started new thread for wider dissemination and discussion.

Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy signed the Delhi Master Plan 2021, Delhi Development Authority (DDA)'s plan for Delhi's redevelopment ahead of the Commonwealth Games. It takes a liberal approach to land use that aims for densification (highrise construction/redevelopment), greenization, removal of slums, and cbd/skyscraper development. It will soon be sent to the Supreme Court who will voice its take by Feb 20.

Skyscrapers unleashed

New Master Plan rids Delhi of height freeze
Aruna P. Sharma
New Delhi

From HT Epaper
07 February, 2007

THE URBAN Development Ministry on Tuesday approved the new Master Plan for Delhi that will change the skyline of the city and allow buildings to go higher.

Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said the plan was not about regularisation but about renewing the city and giving more living space and amenities to people.

The document aims at providing up to 60,000 housing units within the city every year — 30,000 through redeveloping existing colonies and the remaining on agricultural fields in Narela and Najafgarh.

The 2001 Census projects a yearly requirement of 75,000 dwelling units. Eighty per cent of this demand will be met through redeveloping existing colonies and urbanising agricultural land in north and south-west Delhi. The remaining units will be constructed in the neighbouring National Capital Region.

Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken said there would be no more plotted development as there was a scarcity of space. "The world over, the trend is to have compact cities with higher density of population," he said.

The redevelopment norms, for which the minimum prescribed area is 3,000 sq m, will allow existing colonies to go up to 10 to 12 storeys. To reduce the strain on infrastructure, Master Plan 2021 will permit developers to construct extra floors only if they install solar panels, ensure zero sewerage discharge into existing sewers and provide multi-level parking within the complex.

The redevelopment and new development projects will be supported by the water and electricity availability projections given by Delhi government departments. The Master Plan also incorporates the provisions for regularising commercial and mixed land use on identified roads and streets, and the relaxed building by-laws that allow for regularisation of construction up to four storeys in plotted colonies, on the condition that conversion charges are paid. The penalty amount will be used for constructing parking and augmenting civic services.

Note: the rendering above is an "artist's impression" -- it is not (I don't think) a rendering of the skyline planned... right? We have to wait for more details

Jai Feb 20, 2007 2:36 AM

MASTER PLAN 2021 has designated farmhouses as the lungs of the city.

The MPD 2021 has shot down proposals of the Delhi government to replace the farmhouses with Special Economic Zones and IT Parks, saying that the farmhouses that are spread over an area of 11,000 hectare constitute the green zone between Delhi and NCR region and would act as a buffer.

The Plan has also not given any importance to an earlier proposal of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) that they should be replaced with multi-storeyed housing structures.

The DDA was of the view that since there are hardly any farming activity that is carried out at these farmhouses, the land available should be used for some other purpose. However, the Urban Development Ministry does not agree with the DDA and feels that such farmlands offer the muchneeded breathing space in the city.

The Master Plan has integrated the policy framed by the Delhi High Court on farmhouses, which allows holding marriage functions in farmhouses that are located along 60 feet or wider roads. Such farmhouses should not be less than 2.5 acres in size, of which one acre should be reserved as parking space within the premises.

Allowing commercial activities in farmhouses is the only incentive for their owners. The policy framed by the High Court ensures that there is no traffic jam or congestion if such social functions are held in these farmhouses,” said sources in the UD Ministry.


Will water, power let the city of skyscrapers down?

Moushumi Das Gupta
New Delhi

THE TRADER-friendly Master Plan 2021 has not only provided blanket regularization to existing commercial activities in the city but has also paved the way for further spurt in such activities in the future. But the plan has remained silent on how the existing civic amenities will be augmented to meet the growing commercial requirement in the city. Present Scenario Even now a stark gap exists — of about 320 million gallons per day (MGD) water — between demand and supply of drinking water requirement in the Capital. Here are the figures: At present while the demand for potable water in the Capital is 990 MGD, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) supplies only 670 MGD. On the power front, while the demand has been hovering at 4,000 MW, the supply from Delhi’s own generating plants is just 1,200 MW. Projections in Master Plan 2021 The Master Plan has projected that by 2021 the Capital’s drinking water requirement would be 1,380 MGD. But according to figures made available by the DJB, the agency would be in a position to provide treated water to the capacity of 941 MGD by the year 2021. Besides, Delhi power requirement by 2021 has been projected at 11,000 MW. Is it adequate?

The projections for water has been made to cater to a population of 231 lakh. A senior DJB official said, “To start with the city is already facing a shortage of 439 MGD. And with further commercialization this figure will only go up. But nobody is saying where will the additional water come from.” Proposals in Master Plan DDA officials said that Master Plan 2021 has proposed a slew of measures that can help Delhi meet its drinking water supply. These include expediting the construction of dams like Renuka in Himachal Pradesh, Kishau and Lakhwar Vyasi in Uttaranchal, augmenting the existing water treatment plants (WTPs) and setting up new WTPs at Dwarka, Bawana and Okhla.

But planners said that most of the proposals made in the Master Plan have failed to see the light of the day. “The proposals to construct Kishau and Lakhwar Vyasi dams was there in the second Master Plan (1981-2001) which was notified in August 1990. The same proposals have been made in Master Plan-2021 also. All these proposals have remained only on paper,” said a planner involved in the making of the 2001 Master Plan.

Even on the power front, proposals have been made to augment the city’s power generation to 10,000 MW by 2010 itself.

“There is a need to rev up the infrastructure to compliment the growth (both in housing and commercial sector) proposed in the Master Plan 2021. Without adequate sustaining infrastructure all the developments will come to a naught,” said AGK Menon, noted urban planner.


Now there’s space for everyone

Vibha Sharma and Sidhartha Roy
New Delhi

THE VEHICULAR mass in Delhi far exceeds the combined motor vehicle density of three metros, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. Ap proximately 4.5 million motor vehicles ply on the city's roads, says P.K. Sarkar, a professor and traffic expert at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA). Quite a miserable condition since the city does not have enough parking bays to accommodate these vehicles. But things are set to change for the better. The Master Plan 2021 promises to make daily driving an easy park-and-ride affair. After all, liberal building bylaws, commercialisation and mixed land use policies will only add to the city's traffic density.

Easy come, easy go

The Master Plan has devoted a special chapter to parking problems. Besides creating park-and-ride facilities, the Master Plan has concentrated on multi-level parking lots.

Twenty-four sites have been identified by the DDA, the MCD and the NDMC for multi-level parking lots. On a case-to-case basis, developers are likely to be given certain concessions in terms of maximum ground coverage, floor area ratio, height and setbacks.
The minimum plot size for multi-level parking lots has been specified as 1,000 square meters. But smaller plots may also be cleared, if they are found to be technically feasible.

There is also a renewed emphasis on strengthening the public transport system.

Are multi-level parking lots worth it?

Multi-level parking lots are an expensive affair. Chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Authority Bhure Lal feels that private cars are a personal luxury, and therefore, public money should not be used for funding the construction of multi-level parking lots. SPA Prof. Sarkar argues that the planners have not carried out any scientific analysis of the demand and supply. "Today, there is no restriction on the number of vehicles one can buy. Every earning member in a family owns a separate car, and they all blame the civic authorities for not providing enough parking facilities.” The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) recently carried out a study for multi-level parking lots in nine areas - Lajpat Nagar, Nehru Place, Karol Bagh, Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazaar, Kamla Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Ajmeri Gate and Darya Ganj. CRRI found that the demand for parking space far exceeds the availability. In Lajpat Nagar, for example, parking space is available for only 1,598 vehicles while the demand is for 2,604 vehicles. It was a similar story at Karol Bagh, Darya Ganj, Krishna Nagar and other areas. The study says the demand would far outstrip the supply by 2010.

High parking fee

The Master Plan offers no permanent solutions to the ever-increasing demand for parking space. Though it suggests that registration of new vehicles be made in accordance with the availability of parking facilities, the rule is not binding. "Before purchasing a new vehicle, people should inform the authorities whether or not they have adequate parking space. There should be strict enforcement of laws in such cases. Otherwise, there can be no control over the growth of vehicular population," said Sarkar. "In foreign countries, authorities discourage people from using private vehicles by offering them better transportation models," he said. But then, there are many takers for multi-level parking lots.

Experts suggest that funds for multi-level parking lots should be raised from the private sector or personal vehicle users. As for now, the Master Plan proposes that developers should be allowed to use 25 per cent of the gross floor area as commercial space to build multi-level parking lots. But that too is a costly proposition.

"The parking fee would be very high once the developer hands over the site back to the civic agencies," said a senior MCD officer. Even CRRI suggests that the parking fee for convenient spots (near roads) should be on the higher side.,


Jai Feb 20, 2007 2:38 AM

SAFE HEIGHTS - Reach for the skies, but get quake-smart MASTER PLAN 2021

Moushumi Das Gupta
New Delhi

WITH THE new Master Plan ridding Delhi of a height freeze, seismolo- gists and structural-safety engineers have warned that utmost care will have to be taken to ensure that the proposed skyscrapers do not become life-threatening during an earthquake. The concern is not unwarranted since Delhi falls in Seismic Zone IV and is vulnerable to high-intensity earthquakes.

With no regulatory body in place to ensure strict compliance of structural safety norms, experts say builders are consistently flouting norms and in the process endangering the lives of many.

D.K. Paul, head, Earthquake Engineering Department, IIT Roorkee, says, “A microzonation study has revealed that buildings in the Capital — especially private buildings in the Trans-Yamuna and Walled City areas — will suffer maxi- mum damage during an earthquake.

This is mainly because structuralsafety norms have been openly flouted in the case of non-engineering constructions." Paul, who is also the chairman of the Microzonation Committee, says high-rises can come up even in high-seismic zones, but developers must ensure that constructions are structurally sound.

Clearly, it is critical that proper regulation is in place to make structural engineers accountable for the buildings they design. Professor A.S. Arya, national seismic adviser to the Government of India, says “both implementation of structural-safety norms and their enforcement are a problem at the moment”.

The existing building by-laws of 1983 do not have a clause that can ensure accountability of architects and structural engineers involved in planning buildings, says Arya.

He adds that detailed guidelines of all standard building codes must be in place and followed by structural engineers to ensure safety.


Sports in the city: Master Plan is game for it

Aruna P Sharma/ Moushumi Das Gupta
New Delhi

THE MASTER Plan of Delhi 2021 (MPD) not only proposes large-scale regularisation and vertical growth of the city but also speaks about making the city sports- and people-friendly.

MPD has proposed norms and space standards for sports facilities at the neighbourhood and the city level for all age groups. These facilities are to be made accessible by a network of pedestrian and cycle tracks. All existing sports facilities are to be upgraded. The aim is to promote sports activities as an important part of physical and social development.

The plan also proposes a women’s hostel, an old-age home and a geriatric centre for every 1 lakh inhabitants. It is projected that the gender composition will shift significantly to a greater parity of numbers between males and females by the year 2021.

Senior citizens recreation room will be free of FAR (Floor Area Ratio) and as an incentive higher FAR will be provided to the group housing complex having a recreational room, creche, library and reading room.

The population of children in the city (up to 14 years of age) is projected to go up to 49.9 lakh (21.7%) by the year 2021. The plan has prescribed anganbaris, creches, schools for the mentally and physically challenged and night shelters besides regular educational, recreational and health facilities.

MPD also aims at making the city inclusive, implying that paths and pave ments will have to be slip-free, have kerb cuts for wheelchairs and guide blocks for the visually impaired.

There is also a specific plan for street vendors, non-formal trade sector and service providers. What about quake-risk areas?

The microzonation study carried out in the Capital had revealed that in case of a high-intensity earthquake in Delhi, areas which are near the Ridge would suffer the least damage because of the presence of rocks, while Trans Yamuna areas would be the worst affected because of the presence of soft soil.

Walled City is another area which will be badly hit.

The reason — presence of a large number of old buildings in the area which have come up without any engineering considerations. “If the intensity of earthquake is high and the area’s vulnerability is high the damage caused will automatically spiral,” said D.K. Paul, HOD, Earthquake Engineering department, IIT Roorkee.

He added, “We are finalizing the microzonation map of Delhi right now. Once it is completed, we can chalk out strategies which needs to be implemented to make the buildings safer.” Once the microzonation of the Capital is complete it will come in handy for civic agencies. “With information like which areas in the Capital are highly prone to earthquakes civic agencies will be better prepared to minimise damage and effortlessly carry out rescue operations,” said Paul.


Vertical growth to come with incentives

HT Epaper
09 February, 2007

THE MASTER Plan for the first time has introduced the concept of ‘incentivised redevelopment’ where the permission to construct extra floors becomes the incentive for residents to voluntarily opt for redevelopment. Through this system, the Master Plan aims to set in motion the urban renewal of the city especially in old, dilapidated and unplanned areas.

Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken said that the minimum plot requirement for incentivised redevelopment is 3000 square metres that will have to be in sync with the overall area of four hectares. This will ensure that the development around heritage zones and historic buildings and monuments is sympathetic to the heritage near it— manmade as well as natural.

“In a democracy, incentivised redevelopment is the only way to renew the city. We would not like to coerce people. They can opt for it voluntarily if they are able to gather together and garner an aggregate of 3,000 sq m at least,” Maken said.

He said that redevelopment would not be encouraged in planned colonies that have reasonably good infrastructure. Rather it will provide an opportunity for unauthorised regularised colonies, villages and old dilapidated colonies to redevelop into good group housing complexes. Even the old government colonies that have a very low density of population and are outside the Lutyens Bungalow Zone can opt for redevelopment through collaboration, Maken said.


Jai Feb 20, 2007 2:42 AM

Pre-poll sops: slum dwellers to be given multi-storeyed flats

Amitabh Shukla

New Delhi, February 18, 2007

With the MCD elections set to be notified anytime now, the Delhi government has gone on a populist drive to woo the voters with inaugurations and laying foundation stones of several projects.

In the latest pre-poll sops, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday promised that the slum dwellers would be resettled in multi-storeyed flats in outer Delhi.

The promise includes providing new flats to 20,000 families in the slum clusters of the city. These flats would cost Rs 1.5 lakh and the beneficiary would pay only a nominal amount while the rest being paid by the state government and the land owning agency on which the slums are located.

Development Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, who accompanied Dikshit to inspect the site for rehabilitation, however said the decision was taken long ago. “This is not connected with the elections as we have taken a policy decision to rehabilitate slum dwellers in multi storied apartments much earlier,” he said.

Before the model code of conduct for the elections is enforced, the state government has already gone on a inauguration and foundation laying spree. After the elections are notified, the government would be restrained from announcing any new project, or go for inaugurations or foundation laying stones.

The recent inaugurations include the Moolchand underpass, road on the disused canal to connect Karkardooma with the Marginal Bund pushta road, new wards in Sanjay Gandhi and LNJP. The foundation stone included that of a new patient block in GTB hospital, east Delhi.

The projects for which foundation stones are expected to be laid before the polls include the Shastri Park underpass, Mangolpuri flyover, flyover at Raja Ram Kohli Marg, Shastri Park - Pushta road junction flyover, Munirka flyover, Flyover on Outer Ring Road at Rao Tula Ram Marg, ISBT Anand Vihar and Gazipur flyover etc.

Urban Development and PWD minister AK Walia said the spadework for all these projects has been done and construction would commence soon after the foundation stone laying ceremony.

“We have started a reverse clock system wherein the dates for inauguration and completion of the projects would be strictly monitored,” said Walia.

Email Amitabh Shukla:


Jai Mar 6, 2007 5:43 AM

Some New Delhi stadium projects in line for the 2010 Commonwealth Games

Jai Mar 6, 2007 5:48 AM

Delhi Airport expansion and redevelopment:

Master plan

Jai May 10, 2007 4:18 AM

New Delhi Builds Ambitions
Originally posted by BTinSF :

Wall Street Journal on New Delhi development:


New Delhi Builds Ambitions
Housing Expansion Attracts Foreign Investment, Developers;
Infrastructure Poses Challenge
May 9, 2007; Page B12

NEW DELHI -- A government plan to transform New Delhi from a chaotic city into a clean, organized and world-class metropolis faces political and social resistance. But it could be a jackpot for developers and builders.

The Delhi Master Plan 2021 -- the third such plan for India's capital following plans in 1962 and 1991 -- was proposed by the Ministry of Urban Development in February.

To increase the available housing stock and accommodate newcomers from villages and towns who have flocked to the capital amid an economic boom, the plan proposes making available about 66,690 acres of land over the next 14 years. It aims to use that land to build 2.4 million housing units as Delhi's population is expected to increase to 23 million by 2021 from about 14 million.

Some of those units will be in high rises in a city where buildings higher than a few floors are rare. Private developers are being given the chance to pitch in since the government relaxed rules to allow 100% foreign direct investment in real-estate sites such as new townships and housing developments.

"We are quite excited by the plan and will definitely be the front runners once the plan is implemented," said Kunal Banerji, vice president of marketing of Ansal API, one of the largest real-estate development firms in New Delhi.

Under the master plan, developers will be able to acquire land directly instead of going through the Delhi Development Authority, a government body set up in 1957 to carry out a planned development of the city but which required an onerous process for investment.

"The good news for builders is they will no longer be coerced into buying land only from the DDA," a report by real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield said. "For the first time, the private sector will be allowed to directly buy land from farmers and other land holders."

The plan could contribute to a vibrant -- some would say overheated -- real-estate market in India. A slew of shopping malls, houses and business parks have sprung up across the country. The real-estate sector has also seen a lot of global interest from such companies as Ascendas Investment Pte. Ltd., CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wachovia Corp. and Tishman Speyer Properties LP. ICICI Securities forecasts that the Indian realty sector will rise to $102 billion in revenue by 2015 from a current $14 billion.

Wachovia has invested $57 million in a local company based in India's National Capital Region, which includes Delhi. "NCR is the biggest real-estate market in the country and it has tremendous opportunities," said Sandip Kundu, director of real-estate capital markets for Wachovia. "We will be extremely interested in participating in Delhi's redevelopment as and when the master plan is fully rolled out."

Tishman Speyer, a U.S. real-estate company, has entered into a venture with ICICI Venture Funds Management Co., India's largest private-equity fund-management company and a unit of ICICI Bank Ltd. "We are actively looking at Delhi and the Delhi Master Plan is very attractive to us," said Kishore Gotety, ICICI Venture Funds' director of investments. Citigroup Venture Capital has invested $80 million in Indian realty, including $50 million in Emaar-MGF Group, which has property-development projects in various cities including Delhi.

Despite positive interest from developers, the master plan comes with caveats. It is focused mainly on low-cost housing and doesn't address other real-estate gaps in Delhi, such as lack of office space.

"Delhi needs to plan for at least four to five million square feet of office space but unfortunately the master plan fails to address that void," said Anshuman Magazine, India managing director of the U.S. real-estate consultancy firm CB Richard Ellis.

Ajay Maken, India's minister of state for urban development and the originator of the plan, said in an interview, "We have looked at Delhi as a trading city and have earmarked area in the plan to offices but we cannot demolish existing residential areas to build swanky offices."

Critics of the plan also note it doesn't talk about building supporting infrastructure such as sewage systems, roads, transport and power. Responds Mr. Maken: "The master plan makes the best of the existing situation without compromising the livelihood of millions."

India's Supreme Court, which is looking at the various issues concerning the plan, has ordered the government to study power-and-water supplies before giving notice about more roads and allowing the addition of third floors to existing buildings.

The ministry, however, sees these requirements as small hurdles and not a threat to the plan as a whole. "These are minor changes; the bigger policy still stands," Mr. Maken said.

Write to Binny Sabharwal at

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Jai May 10, 2007 4:19 AM

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