Draft of Delhi Master Plan 2041 focuses on tackling pollution and urban development

The master plan is a roadmap for the future development of the city. It assesses the present condition of the city and works as a guideline to achieve the desired development.

Greener environment, Yamuna cleaning, economy focusing on areas such as IT, service sector and hospitality, enhanced mobility promoting cleaner fuels, addressing housing needs of the poor, and rejuvenation of the heritage fabric of the city are among the key features of the draft Master Plan of Delhi 2041.

The draft MPD 2041 was put up on the website of the Delhi Development Authority on Wednesday and public suggestions and objections have been invited, a senior DDA official said.

“The government has increased the focus on urban development by embarking upon a comprehensive programme for planned urban development in 2014, designed to bring about a transformative change in the lives of people with inclusive, participative and sustainable approach,” reads the draft plan.

The draft master plan envisions a more “sustainable, liveable, safe and inclusive capital with housing for all and better economic opportunities”.

Apart from boosting the economy, the draft plans measures to tackle air, water and noise pollution, as well as measures like ‘refuge points’ and self-sustained isolated residential areas to deal with pandemics.

“High built densities, poor quality and age of built stock further increases the vulnerability. The COVID-19 pandemic brought into focus the need to create self-contained and mixed-use areas with decentralised infrastructure,” it states.

The master plan is a roadmap for the future development of the city. It assesses the present condition of the city and works as a guideline to achieve the desired development.

The 2041 plan looks at development of new housing in the peripheral areas thanks to land pooling and green development initiatives, while also focusing on urban regeneration and densification in the city centre and around transit corridors with rental and small format housing.

A more pragmatic land use of existing industrial areas is planned, with thrust on service sector, IT, tourism and hospitality.

The plan recognises cultural hotspots such as Shahjahanabad, the Central Vista and India Gate lawns, Connaught Place, Hauz Khas and Mehrauli as places of intense public activity, attracting locals as well as tourists. Other specific hubs with a concentration of socio-cultural activities shall be identified (for example Mandi House, Lodhi Institutional Area and Art precinct, Dilli Haat, Dastakaar Haats, etc.). Efforts will be made to improve the interaction of spaces with people in these areas.

In the environment sector, the draft envisions to minimise vehicular pollution through key strategies, including adoption of mix-use transit-oriented development (TOD), migration to greener fuels for public transport, and water quality improvement to be taken for the Yamuna and various natural drains, lakes and baolis.

The improvement of water quality in the Yamuna and various natural drains, lakes and baolis is a key feature of the plan and different agencies have been given specific tasks, such as checking the outfall of untreated wastewater from surrounding developments.

The process of preparation of the Master Plan of Delhi 2041 was initiated in 2017, and it remained on track in spite of the lockdown and other restrictions on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Implementation of the plan is the collective responsibility of all agencies involved in the development of Delhi, including the central government, various departments of the government of Delhi, service providers, landowning agencies, regulators and local bodies, among others.

The first Master Plan for Delhi was prepared in 1962. Each plan is prepared for a duration of 20 years.

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