Why flooding in Delhi has forced DDA’s master plan rethink, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

August 26, 2023

<p>File Photo</p>
File Photo

NEW DELHI: The recent floods in the capital that inundated several unauthorised colonies in low-lying areas seems to have spurred the government to rethink its policy allowing regulated development in Zone O, or the Yamuna and its floodplain.

Sources said that after the flooding, the union ministry of housing and urban affairs sought information from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) about the illegal colonies on the floodplain that were inundated when the Yamuna water level broke an all-time record and flowed at 208.66 metres at the Old Railway Bridge.

A DDA official said the authority gave the ministry the information about the colonies and the villages affected by the flooding and people displaced from the area.

“The ministry will take the final call if the provisions in the draft Master Plan related to regulated development of some parts of the floodplain require to be changed in view of the floods. As far as the DDA is concerned, the provision of regulated development proposed in the draft is capable of restricting further encroachment of the river floodplain and further unauthorised construction,” an official, requesting anonymity, said.

According to Master Plan 2021, Zone O comprises the entire floodplain along the 22-km stretch of the Yamuna falling in Delhi – from Wazirabad to Palla – spread over 10,000 hectares. In the draft Master Plan of 2041, DDA has divided Zone O into Zone O-I and Zone O-II, which is the floodplain. While no construction will be permitted in Zone O-I, or the ‘river zone’, regulated development will be allowed in Zone O-II. The draft Master Plan, 2041, was approved in a meeting chaired by the LG in March and is with the ministry and has yet to be notified.

Sources said that after the flood, there has been a point of view that the plan should be relooked at, keeping in view how the recent flood had inundated several residential areas that have come up in Zone O-II.

Several experts, too, have been demanding that the government should reconsider its decision to delineate the Yamuna in view of the recent floods. While the DDA claims the delineation was crucial to ensure no further illegal development happened on the floodplain, the experts say the exercise would lead to extension in unauthorised construction. The problem of flooding could further intensify in colonies built on the floodplains every time there is heavy rain and high discharge of water from the Hathnikund barrage in Haryana.

The river zone (O-I) is spread over 6,295 hectares while the regulated riverfront (Zone O-II) is 3,638 hectares. There are about 76 unauthorised colonies in Zone O-II. Once the delineation is notified, construction activity can be regularised in these colonies.

  • Published On Aug 22, 2023 at 09:22 AM IST

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