The draft Master Plan of Delhi 2041, which will serve as the blueprint for the development of the Capital for the next two decades, is now open to public scrutiny for the next 45 days. The master plan is one of the key instruments that facilitates Delhi’s development.
- What is a master plan in City development?
- What is the Master Plan 2041 for Delhi?
- Focus areas of MPD 2041
- How is the Master Plan 2041 different from the 2021 Master Plan?
- Proposals for Pollution Management
- Challenges in implementation of MDP 2041
What is a master plan in City Development?
- A master plan of any city is like a vision document by the planners and the land-owning agency of the city, which gives a direction to the future development.
- It is a ‘strategic’ and ‘enabling’ framework to guide the growth of the city and it builds upon lessons learnt from implementation of the previous plans
- It includes analysis, recommendations, and proposals keeping in mind the population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use.
What is the Master Plan 2041 for Delhi?
- The draft Master Plan of Delhi 2041 will serve as the blueprint for the development of the Capital for the next two decades
- The Delhi Development Authority is the anchor agency for the master plan.
- The draft MPD 2041 is in two volumes and comprises sector-wise policies in the key areas of environment, economy, public spaces, heritage, shelter, mobility and social and physical infrastructure.
- It includes spatial development strategies to guide the intensity and type of development in various parts of Delhi (land pooling area, green development area, regeneration of planned and unplanned areas, transit-oriented development, strategic regeneration).
Historical Master Plans of Delhi
- The first master plan for Delhi was promulgated in 1962 under the Delhi Development Act of 1957, followed by the master plans of 2001 and 2021, each of which extensively modified the previous plan document.
- These plans were prepared for 20-year perspective periods and provided a holistic framework for planned development of Delhi.
- The National Capital Territory of Delhi is the largest city in the country by area, spread across about 1,486.5 sq. km.
- It comprises 367 villages, most of which are declared urban.
- There are 11 districts, 33 tehsils/sub-divisions, 272 wards and five local bodies handling civic administration – North DMC, South DMC, East DMC, New Delhi Municipal Council and the Cantonment Board.
- Delhi is divided into 18 planning zones for ease of planning and management
Focus areas of MPD 2041:
- The document focuses on the environment and on tackling pollution.
- It seeks to make the city liveable and safe, provide better economic opportunities, offer housing for all with emphasis on affordable and rental accommodation and land pooling, and redevelopment of old areas of the city.
- For the first time, private developers will be allowed to offer housing in land-pooling schemes.
- High land prices have resulted in a mismatch between housing needs and supply. A large part of Delhi is unplanned, with unauthorised colonies that fulfil the need for housing by providing less expensive options of owned and rental accommodation.
- The draft focuses on rental and small-format housing (especially close to mass transit) and incentivises new formats like serviced apartments, condominiums, hostels, student housing and worker housing.
- The draft plan proposes a policy for redevelopment and re-densification of old areas, especially urbanised villages and unauthorised colonies and says social infrastructure must be provided in such existing residential areas.
- The document proposes to improve the environment, with emphasis on preservation and enhancement of ecological heritage (Yamuna riverfront development, biodiversity parks).
- The draft MPD 2041 stresses the need to augment the city’s preparedness to deal with pollution, for which it proposes a blue-green policy that integrates drains (blues) with the green areas around it.
- Delhi is a water-scarce city and yet the resource is wasted due to systemic losses and the lack of a conservation and reuse strategy.
- This has serious implications on the city’s growth prospects and the basic need of water for day-to-day activities.
- Delhi is a cultural capital and has a large number of heritage assets.
- The preservation of assets and their adaptive reuse will be promoted to prevent degradation and loss.
- Delhi falls in seismic zone four and is under high risk of earthquakes, fire outbreaks and flooding.
- High built densities, poor quality and age of built stock further increase this vulnerability.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the need to create self-contained and mixed-use areas with decentralised infrastructure.
- It addresses parking problems and suggests a ‘user pays’ principle, which means users of all personal motor vehicles, except for non-motorised ones, have to pay for authorised parking facilities, spaces and streets.
How is the Master Plan 2041 different from the 2021 Master Plan?
- The world has gone through a drastic change due to the pandemic, and the growing population has led to shrinking spaces and unemployment.
- The Master Plan 2041 aims to develop common community spaces to provide refuge spots, common kitchens and quarantine space in an emergency.
- To improve the nighttime economy, the plan focuses on cultural festivals, bus entertainment, metro, sports facilities, and retail stores included in Delhi Development Authority (DDA)’s NightLife Circuit plan.
- It also proposes to reduce vulnerability to airborne epidemics through decentralised workspaces, mandatory creation of open areas, better habitat design and green-rated developments to reduce dependence on mechanical ventilation systems.
- MPD 2041 will be GIS-based, which means that zonal plans have been prepared after digitally mapping every service, land use and infrastructure.
Proposals for Pollution Management:
- The draft plan aims to minimise vehicular pollution through key strategies, including a switch to greener fuels for public transport and adoption of mixed-use of transit-oriented development (also known as TOD).
- It also addresses improving the quality of water, which is taken from the Yamuna river as well as various lakes, natural drains and baolis.
- The draft lays a clear boundary of the buffer zone near the Yamuna river and explores how to develop it.
- As per the plan, a green buffer of 300-metre width shall be maintained wherever feasible along the entire edge of the river.
- There is a chapter on the Green Development Area Policy that provides an integrated framework for development of a Green Belt along the NCT of Delhi boundary.
- The aim is to create a regional environmental buffer, reduce the impact of air pollution and urban heating, improve predictability of rainfall and combat the threat of desertification.
What is Green-Blue infrastructure?
- The focus on water bodies and the land around it, which is referred to as the “Green-Blue policy”, promises to give the city a new shape.
- ‘Blue’ infrastructure refers to water bodies like rivers, canals, ponds, wetlands, floodplains, and water treatment facilities
- ‘Green’ stands for trees, lawns, hedgerows, parks, fields, and forests.
- The concept refers to urban planning where water bodies and land are interdependent, and grow with the help of each other while offering environmental and social benefits.
Challenges in implementation of MDP 2041:
The master plan on paper looks like a perfect document for the city’s progress. However, when the implementing agencies try to replicate it on the ground, they face challenges such as :
- confrontation from political wings,
- lack of resources and funds,
- corruption in different departments,
- lack of political and bureaucratic will and
- multiplicity of agencies.
For instance, despite talks of increasing surface parking, removing junk vehicles, imposing fines for dumping debris, garbage burning, and segregation of waste, a lot of these things could never be implemented.
In some cases like, increasing parking or increasing its charges, there is resistance from politicians due to vote-bank politics. In other cases, lack of funds and improper implementation mar the projects.
Multiplicity of agencies:
- DDA wants to bring together different agencies like Delhi Jal Board, Flood and Irrigation Department, and municipal corporations as stakeholders in the project.
- In a city where even waterlogging turns into a blame game between different warring agencies, this will be a tough task, especially as DDA has no supervisory power over these bodies.
Mould your thought: What is a master plan in city development ? How is MDP 2041 for Delhi different from MDP 2021? Highlight the challenges in implementing MDP 2041 in Delhi.
Approach to the answer:
- Define Master plan and its aims in city development briefly
- Discuss the differences between MDP 2041 and 2021
- Write about the challenges that need to be overcome for successful implementation