The regularization of Unauthorised colonies has become a vote bank strategy for the political parties but my concern is that why so many new unauthorized colonies are cropping up, isn’t it the failure of planning and development monitoring at city level. My opinion to solve such issues lies in making plan approval and service delivery speedier than it is today. In this age of advance satellite technology and GIS technology development and urban sprawl can be easily monitored and checked. I don’t know the exact data but can say from recent news and discussions that DDA has notified a large chunk of land for development in Delhi and whether for profit making or lack of resources DDA has been unable to provide developed land at the required pace of development taking place in Delhi and NCR. I can’t suggest drastic measures like denotifying all such land suitable for development but I would rather like DDA and MCD to work out some plan for engaging the private developers for developing the existing land before they get developed by the people the way they like and mess up the whole fabric of Delhi which has many heritages to boast of and most rapid growing urban centre in the world. Sometimes action taken in haste goes waste but inaction lead to reaction which is evident in the mushrooming of unauthorised colonies in Delhi or better say the NCR.
|Mall Culture in Delhi-NCR|
With the upbeat of malls in the market these days, generation next has found a new excuse to hangout. This increase in the so called, mall culture to our country about a decade ago and since then the capital has no corner left for any more malls. This also has fascinated as well as invited the architects to participate in the hullabaloo, and rightly so, as there are so many functions associated with it.
Overall all these malls have no relationship with the environment outside as they work on the principal with creating a micro-climate inside those gigantic boxes of steel and concrete. We hardly get to see the treatment given to the exterior of these malls as compared to the interiors. But still very little but pleasantly these portions of buildings are given a little thought as they really do attract the masses.
The `metropolitan mall’ at Gurgaon near Delhi. The external façade of this mall is totally covered with huge glow-sign boards of various products. This is just a part of their strategy to attract the consumers through these medium. Also, various kinds of lighting fixtures along the pavement to compliment the building. Although the building is quite transparent as far as the visual connection from the road is concerned as there are no boundary walls present. Still the low height foliage and the pavement separated it from the road. Also, there is no segregation of pedestrian and vehicular pathways.Only, locally available Delhi quartzite stone are laid in a radial pattern.
In Delhi, the technological, economic, socio-cultural and post-industrial consumption has transformed the city almost as much as industrial production did .While a huge retail demand still exists for commercial space of yesteryears, there is a huge call for modern serviced facilities, especially in the new sub-urban areas, such as Noida, Gurgaon, Rohini, etc. In the view of the above, morphogenesis architecture studios, entrusted with the design of the first large format shopping mall in northern India.
In the words of architect, “…..It was very important to design it as a family destination point. Enough value addition had to be done for it to offer more than addition had to be done for it to offer more than existing in terms of retail design and entertainment.
While it was functional necessity to design a hermetically sealed box, Morphogenesis also did not wish to establish the typical American Typology, American Malls are almost mini cities. As the 450,000 sq ft hermitically sealed is not designed as short term, pedestrian access space automatically subverts the high street design where retail space overlaps a transition space, it automatically subverts the high streets.
To introduce complexity two strategies are employed, one was creating a system of programmatic overlapping and intersection versus typical clusters resulting out of bubble diagram architecture. Second was designing a mall which was just not the stack of shops fitted in the building, but more like an enclosed Indian street system .It was seen as a space where in a climate of retail strategy, along with methodological creation of ideal, a setting of opportunistic exploitation of fluke accident and transformation must be credited -The hang out space.
It has now been established that the real challenge for the designer lies in handling the two most important ingredients of a marketplace – the shopper and the vehicle. The movement of both can be cannot be separated or mixed before solving the aspect of parking.
With the people came their automobiles. As the area was not designed to handle such a large number of shoppers, the problem of providing space to these vehicles arose. This problem has not been solved till date. Parking is one of the significant factors that deter shoppers from going to main markets and favors suburban shopping places. Another aspect is the level of interaction of people in the market.
Parking space needs to be as close as possible to the pavement on the main approach road otherwise people tend to park elsewhere leaving the parking vacant.. Provision of adequate parking space is another is another important issue otherwise people tend to park haphazardly in any space, thus, making the environment chaotic. E.g. Lajpat Nagar An excellent example of a well designed hierarchy of pedestrian and parking is Shoppers Stop where the shopping complex, pedestrian street & parking form separate zones and the main road is beyond all these thus isolating the shopper from the road traffic.
A very common flaw in design is to be greeted by a sea of cars. Further, in a country like India any amount of parking space will fall short in a period of time so it is very important to improve and encourage public transport to the shopping centres.
Indian towns and cities are witnessing unprecedented urban growth and to a large extent the real estate development taking place in the peripheral and suburban areas are contributing to the efforts of the development authorities and urban local bodies. But have you ever thought whether the large scale residential and commercial development under the umbrella of real estate development is properly and timely regulated through the various development controls and norms prepared by the urban local bodies. There are many towns in India where there is no such regulatory and guiding document like master plan for such purposes and hence arises the need for having a comprehensive national real estate development control and regulation.
This can be entrusted to the ministry of urban development of the Government of India and various states who are capable enough to devise such comprehensive document to guide the real estate development. Devising a comprehensive guiding and regulatory document is not enough but there is a need for capable urban and rural local bodies who are empowered to act in the matters of urban development taking place in areas under their jurisdiction.
It has been often in news that many developers do not provide the services as mentioned in the document alluding the purchasers. Thus, there is need for such a monitoring and regulatory bodies in each state and their subordinate offices in the urban local bodies.
The real estate development should be channelised in such a way that they contribute to a healthy growth and development of the urban fabric. And this can be done by proper and timely regulation like compulsory development charges to the Urban Local Bodies for extension and augmentation of the social and physical infrastructure.
The recent announcement by the Chief Minister for regulariation of 917 unauthorised colonies of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is a serious blow to the planning and development control prevailing in the capital. This will have serious impacts on the working of the Delhi Development Authorities and other Urban Local Bodies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi which are engaged in ensuring planned
development of Delhi.
Delhi is fortunate enough to have a series of Master Plan to guide and control the development of the city. But it is also evident that the local bodies has grossly failed in controllling the unauthorised development in the notified areas lying on the fringes of the city.
The alarming number of the unauthorised colonies is a clear indication of the failure of development controlling and monitoring authorities.
The planning and development agencies failed to predict the inflow of the people in the national capital and failed to prepare itself for providing the housing in a planned way which resulted in the mushrooming of so many unauthorised and unregularised colonies. There are many ghost colonies in the capital which have got sactioned.
The time has come to respond to the need for regularising them but not in the manner as suggested by Chief Minister but in a more regulated and phased manner. This can be done through charging development charged from the residents of the ‘to be regularised colonies’ and also keeping in view the minimum requrement of proper land records and legal documents.
These unauthorised colonies grossly lack many social and physical infrastructure for healthy living conditions. Indiscriminated regularisation will lead to sluming of whole town as new unauthorised colonies will find a safer way out of the planning and development controls of the developing agencies.
Politicians should sit with policy planners and urban planners and decide the right course of action and avoid playing politics of vote bank and endengering the planning and development of the city. The planners can help in sorting out deficiency of social infrastructure through planning measures like cross subsidisation of the development and FAR accomodation to use the vacant plots for developing social infrastructures for the residents.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma