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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Delhi’s Draft Master Plan explores new affordable housing options

As per the Socio-Economic Survey of Delhi, GNCTD, 2018-19, 85% of the population requires affordable housing options, and as per Census 2011, almost 10.8% of the population lived in slums, occupying 0.5% of the city’s total area.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | Delhi |
Updated: June 10, 2021 8:19:21 am
For improvement of slums, the master plan focuses on in-situ slum rehabilitation schemes, thereby reducing the threat of evictions.(Representational Photo)

Focus on rental housing for the increasing migrant population in the capital and strict measures to reduce congestion such as levying congestion charges and linking registration of new vehicles to availability of owner’s parking facilities are among key features in the draft Master Plan of Delhi 2041.

A senior DDA official said there is a need to address the housing needs of students, single working men and women and migrants through affordable housing, rental housing, hostels, studio apartments, serviced apartments and dormitories.

“DDA would provide incentives which could be in the form of higher floor area ratio, permission to add more floors without compromising with structural safety and land availability at lower prices,” said a senior DDA official.

As per the Socio-Economic Survey of Delhi, GNCTD, 2018-19, 85% of the population requires affordable housing options, and as per Census 2011, almost 10.8% of the population lived in slums, occupying 0.5% of the city’s total area.

Such areas suffer from poor quality houses, inadequate services, lack of amenities and open spaces, and lack of proper access even for disaster mitigation, putting them at high risk in case of fires, earthquakes and other calamities.

For improvement of slums, the master plan focuses on in-situ slum rehabilitation schemes, thereby reducing the threat of evictions.

Around 32.3% of the population in the city are migrants and prefer rental housing due to low entry and exit costs.

The draft says that 11% of the Census Houses (including houses used as residence and residence-cum-other-uses) in Delhi are vacant (Census 2011). “There is a potential to bring such stock back into circulation through rental options,” reads the draft.

Public projects for transit-oriented development or large-scale regeneration may especially focus on creating such affordable rental housing options. Group housing shall be preferable as part of regeneration schemes, it reads.

Public agencies shall develop a proportion of their housing inventories in the form of rental housing. This may be of various forms such as service apartments, dormitories and a mix of rental options such as affordable rentals, it reads.

DDA and other public agencies may take up dedicated Affordable Public Rental Housing projects on public lands close to industrial areas and educational hubs.

The draft master plan talks about the ‘user pays’ principle, which means all users of all personal motor vehicles except non-motorised ones have to pay for use of authorised parking facilities, spaces and streets.

Parking charges shall be used for reducing the demand for on-street parking and increasing usage of off-street parking, especially multi-level parking.

Congestion pricing (through higher parking charges) shall be utilised to decongest areas with high public transport access or high vehicular footfall volume, which can be commercial areas, mixed-use streets and work centres.

Staggered peak hours of different uses may also be explored to manage parking demand and increase parking turnover.

‘Parking’ and ‘no-parking’ zones shall be clearly demarcated and on-street parking defined by use of suitable signages and pavement markings.

A policy linking registration of new vehicles to availability of owner parking facilities may also be considered.

Many junk vehicles lie abandoned around the city and occupy scarce road-side space. Local bodies and the Traffic Police shall ensure that such vehicles are taken to scrap yards within a definite time frame, the draft states.

A senior civic body official said some of these proposals have already been approved but have been difficult to execute due to political pressure. “The corporation had recently tried to make all surface parking costlier than the multi-level ones but it could not be executed due to political pressure.”

“Similarly, junk vehicles are being used to claim road spaces. When officials go to tow them, there is opposition from locals, and there is a shortage of spaces where all these could be stored,” he said.

Former vice-chairperson of DDA Balvinder Kumar said that though all these could not be implemented in one go but gradually it has to be done.

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