Participatory Planning in Plan Preparation: A Case of Delhi

Participatory planning is very sought after concept in the domain of planning in current practices. Delhi is a very progressive city and the city planners and administrators are very active in adopting and implementing current best practices across the world. There are many practices in Delhi which is seen as a good example of participatory planning and the concerns arises when we want to replicate in other cities and towns then it becomes imperative to look in detail the process and their allied pros and cons so that a more effective model can be adapted and adopted for implementation. For Delhi also we are in the process of preparation of ‘Local Area Plan’ an initiative of Municipal Corporation of Delhi to realize the provisions of Master Plan for a planned development taking into account the existing ground realities. The thesis cum research project will be of great help in looking at the shortcomings of the participatory planning process and the recommendations can give us an opportunity to strengthen the scope and effectiveness of public participation in planning at local level. The author thinks that his research work will be of some help in devising more efficient mechanism for public participation and demand responsive planning by the local body of the national capital.

The need of the study has arisen due to the combined effect of various factors like lack of awareness and understanding of the concept and applicability of the participatory planning processes. Sometimes it is called ad hocism in the practice of participation taking place in the current scenario where people are awakening to the need and demand for more participatory planning approach. Case studies of different practices in Participatory Planning arena viz. decentralized planning in Kerala, National Policy for Urban Street Vendors and Bhagidari Scheme of Government of Delhi has showcased how the plan or scheme has been able to deliver or fail. Further, the author has developed a framework for analysis will helps in judiciously considering the case of Participatory Planning in Delhi.

The detailed analysis of the Participatory Planning mechanism used in the cases of Master Plan, City Development Plan and Local Area Plan preparation in Delhi gives the pros and cons of public participation and the loopholes in the planning processes. Here, author feels in a position to understand the virtues and shortcomings of the different participatory practices and how they can be beneficially adopted and adapted for the preparation of Local Area Plan in a more effective participatory manner.

Finally, author tries to evolve a realistic and implementable framework for effective public participation in Local Area Planning which is undergoing its final stages. His interactions with many consultants and planners engaged in this project can also be put forward for better comprehensibility and feasibility of the framework.