The built-up area in the National Capital Region, which includes residential, non-residential, landfill sites, etc., has increased by 34.6 per cent from 1999-2012. This has happened mostly at the expense of green areas and water bodies which have gone down by 22.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively.

These findings have been revealed by a study on land use change carried out by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) commissioned by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) for review of Regional Plan-2021.

As per the figures in the Draft Revised Regional Plan -2021, the built-up area in the NCR has gone up from 2,76,566 hectare to 3,72,370 hectare showing an increase of 95,803 hectare or 34.6 per cent. While the area under agriculture use has reduced marginally from 26,65,622 hectare to 26,45,022 hectare, green areas and water bodies have decreased substantially.

The green areas have gone down from 1,45,453 hectare to 1,12,683 hectare registering a decrease of 32,769 hectare, a dip of 22.5 per cent. Similarly, the area under the water bodies has decreased by 5.9 per cent from 24,583 hectare to 23,119 hectare. The wastelands, which include gullied land, saline land, waterlogged, barren, rocky and river sand, have also gone down by 19.6 per cent from 2,91,931 hectare to 2,34,613 hectare. The area under the “others” category, which include stone quarrying, brick kiln, has, however, registered an increase of almost 159.59 per cent from 10,243 hectare to 26,590 hectare.

Attributing the increase in the built-up area to conversion of agricultural, wastelands, green areas, and water bodies, the Draft Revised Regional Plan-2021 concedes that environmentally fragile and sensitive areas such as the Yamuna riverbed/ wetland, ridge areas, forest areas are being subjected to development activities adversely affecting the land use and eco-system of the area.

Argue urban planners and environment analysts argue that the revised draft Regional Plan-2021 instead of offering solutions and plugging the holes in implementation has significantly diluted key environmental safeguards for the sensitive areas such as the Aravallis and the Yamuna and other river beds.


  • Built-up area in NCR has gone up from 2,76,566 hectare to 3,72,370 hectare

  • Agriculture use has reduced marginally from 26,65,622 hectare to 26,45,022 hectare


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