Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today continued to oppose Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath’s push for vertical growth in the city,saying she won’t allow construction of high-rise buildings as long as she is “alive”.
She has been opposing vertical expansion arguing that it will put additional stress on existing resources and infrastructure in the city besides severely impacting the ecology.
“I agree with you that eventually perhaps Delhi will need high-rise buildings. But it will not be allowed as long as I am alive,” she told a function organised by industry chamber Assocham.
Earlier,a number of speakers had underlined the need for allowing vertical growth of the city.
The Union Urban Development Minister has been strongly pitching for allowing high-rise buildings in Delhi to accommodate the growing population.
As per existing norms height of a building in residential areas cannot go beyond 15 m.
The Urban Development Ministry is currently in the process of reviewing the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 and is expected to finalise a number of amendments soon like allowing high-rises and increasing the existing floor area ratio (FAR). FAR is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the plot area.
Earlier this month,Delhi’s Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had supported Nath’s push for vertical expansion but demanded adequate central funds for enhancing existing infrastructure if such a policy is finalised.
“We absolutely have no problem with vertical expansion of Delhi. But when approval is given to high-rises,then we will have to strengthen existing infrastructure like sewage network,water distribution system and power transmission. The Centre will have to provide Delhi government funds for enhancing the infrastructure,” Lovely had said.
In her address,Dikshit also spoke about flash floods in Uttarakhand and blamed “unregulated constructions” for the disaster.
“What had happened in Uttarakhand is really tragic. It was a man-made disaster. Let us assume,the cloud burst had taken place because of god. But still it is a man made
disaster as construction activities had been going on without any logic,without looking into safety issues,” she said.
Underlining the need for protecting the eco-system in Delhi,Dikshit exhorted people to plant saplings to extend the green cover further.
“We started the plantation drive when we came to power in 1999. We saw the Rajasthan desert coming towards Delhi. If we had not carried out the plantation drive,probably the sands in Rajasthan deserts would have come here,” she said.