Is the Delhi Development Authority the appropriate agency for drafting a Master Plan for the city or has it taken over the mandate of the municipal corporations? Even as the DDA is readying the Delhi Master Plan 2021, there is a growing murmur about the mandate of the DDA and how the city has failed to give municipal bodies a chance to carry out a task that is assigned to them.

Senior architect and adviser to the Delhi Urban Arts Commission Romi Chopra pointing out the aberration said: “As per the 74th Amendment of the Constitution, it is the local bodies, the municipalities that should draft the Master Plan after taking the necessary inputs from the people. Delhi has failed to implement the Amendment, though it has divided the municipalities into three and set up block level committees, which are part of the Amendment.”

Drafting a Master Plan requires complex, technical inputs, for instance power and water requirements, roads, footpaths and even employment avenues for the people, Mr. Chopra said, adding that some critical aspects need more attention while planning for the future.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, however, disagrees with the idea of the municipal bodies being given the charge. “There are five local bodies including the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Cantonment Board, they may not be able to draft a comprehensive and an integrated plan for the entire city like the DDA,” she told The Hindu.

Even though Ms. Diskhit said the DDA has been asked to prepare plans with a 20 year vision, and undertake revision every five years, urban design experts are not satisfied with the plans that are being drawn up, on the grounds that they are not three-dimensional.

Delhi Urban Arts Commission chairperson Raj Rewal said he has decided to “lead by example”. “The plans have been two-dimensional, but it is a practice globally to have site specific, three dimensional plans so that a virtual model can be created, which allows planners to see the final result. There are three steps that must be adhered to -- planning, urban design and actual architectural building -- that should be followed in that order,” he said.

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