Should Delhi go vertical? A pointless argument
Ever since the Urban Development minister Mr. Kamal Nath has raised this question, a whole lot of experts (pseudo included) have jumped into the argument with valid arguments on why Delhi should not go vertical.
Here are some misnomers, for the consumption of the common man, which seeks correction.
1. If Delhi has to plan for an additional population of 10 million over the next 10 years, growing vertical is essential, to accommodate more dwelling units per acre.
2. Detractors cite the siesmic zone, facilities & amenities, height restrictions, infrastructure, water & power and all such arguments against the motion. The counter argument is, Delhi has to factor in the incremental population while planning the urban infrastructure for the next decade & beyond, you can’t wish away the migration.
3. Most migrants aren’t looking for tall buildings, which are 20storeys & above. We have to pragmatically plan ground + 3 structures OR Stilts + four structures which can accommodate more DUs per acre, than what it is now. (the benchmark cannot always remain the Luytens Delhi).
4. When talking of new areas like zone N & L, surely infrastructure can be planned in advance, to suit the amended higher density.
5. Let this be noted that higher density, relaxation in FAR and height norms does effectively bring down the cost of project acquisition. Why not allow higher ground coverage to create projects which are not super tall structures, but a mushroom development of well planned low rise buildings?
6. MPD 2021 allows high density developments alongside the new infrastructure, like the UER I & II. The licenses can be allowed with caveats for housing for the poor too, who deserve modern infrastructure.
The basic tenet of going vertical should be to generate higher supply, which would wean away the buying public from the unauthorized settlements, which are nothing but a ruse of the unscrupulous to work the rules in their favour.