Save Delhi from crumbling

Save Delhi from crumbling

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I am writing to express my deepest concern as a Delhi citizen, to address the following issues: 

  • Pollution, owing to large number of private and commercial vehicles
  • Huge pressure on the road network causing long delays, jams and poor road conditions
  • Unforeseen pressure on the health and education system, as both supply and quality of service is much below what is being demanded
  • Rocketing residential real estate prices, and high commercial leasing rates leading to top business houses settling in NCR forcing Delhiites to commute for 2-3 hours every day
  • High pressure on civic infrastructure and public utilities such as garbage disposal, electricity, and water

Over the last 3 decades, I have seen Delhi’s landscape change drastically, both economically and culturally. The fast pace of development has placed us in a very good position globally as a fabulous city to live and work, but the last few years have been putting a lot of pressure on its position.

If we let Delhi go down the route of many other urban centers across the world, the day will not be far when we will see Delhi’s systems collapsing under the immense pressure on all fronts. There is an argument that time and nature will take its course and people and businesses will find a balance, but why wait for things to start failing.

There are enough examples from the developed world where cities and states put quotas on the number of businesses/people that can enter. There are also examples of many countries limiting the number of immigrants to what their hospitals, schools, and public transport systems can cater to.

While we do not have the liberty to go back in time and fix it, we can always start somewhere.

What are the actions steps recommended:

  • No new residential property to be constructed/allowed to be registered in Delhi. Resale and renovations are allowed, but no additional floor area can be built (max 15% addition to allow for remodeling)
  • No new commercial property to be sanctioned or allowed to expand
  • Strict adherence to building regulations related to minimum open space requirements
  • Government to provide financial assistance to RWAs to build underground car parking by hiring civil contractors and negotiating for a large number of contracts

What are the likely results:

  • Offices and people will gradually move to NCR leaving only those who really need/want to be in Delhi
  • Reduced pressure on the civic infrastructure
  • More space to build parks/schools/hospitals/recreation centres
  • Possibility of lower pollution
  • Overall lower level of stress, resulting in higher economic prosperity

Caveat: Economic analysis has not been done of the suggested measures