Removal of noxious industries, de-cluttering of overhead wires, providing support to owners of heritage buildings for undertaking conservation and a multi-agency coordinated initiative for revitalization of the walled city of Shahajahanbad has been proposed in the Draft Master Plan for Delhi — 2041.
The draft master plan, which has been placed in the public domain to invite objections and suggestions from common citizens, will facilitate Delhi’s development by assessing the present condition and guiding how to achieve the desired development over the next 20 years.
It has been prepared by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
The walled city is the historical core and business centre of the city, rich in both tangible and intangible heritage, the document says.
“To encourage the development of the area as a cultural enterprise hub, uses such as artist studios, performance spaces, museums, libraries, cafes, music venues, co-working spaces, craft centres, hotels, shall be permitted in plots with access from minimum six metre road, irrespective of applicable land use,” the draft says.
The draft also says that no more open spaces in the walled city shall be taken up for creation of multi-level car parkings (MLCPs) as a large number of metro stations are closely located in the area.
“Area level plans for katras, bazaars etc shall be prepared in consultation with residents and stakeholders for identifying common public areas to be used for evacuation during emergencies as well as need-based provision of socio-cultural facilities and installation or improvement of services and utilities.
De-cluttering of overhead wires that increase the risk of fires shall be remedied through appropriate technological solutions, it says.
The World Heritage site of Red Fort is located here besides numerous notified heritage assets. The draft says its unique fabric comprises katras, bazaars, historical markets, streets and vistas as well as intangible cultural experiences like festivals, poetry, traditional craft products, cuisine, and textiles, etc. that are unique to Delhi.
“However, the area faces numerous challenges such as continued wholesaling, warehousing and polluting/hazardous economic activities, and traffic congestion due to movement of goods, dilapidation of buildings, lack of infrastructure, and adhoc and insensitive transformations leading to disruptions in the built fabric,” it says.
The draft proposes a multi-agency coordinated initiative to be taken up for revitalization of the area which will include the delineation of all cultural precincts within the walled city within two years with the concerned local body preparing and implement the plans.
The draft also proposes support for owners of heritage buildings to undertake conservation or adaptive reuse.
It says that the local body shall prepare a plan for the area identifying all major markets, commercial and mixed-use streets.
“All noxious industries and hazardous trades, godowns and wholesale activity generating freight movement shall be removed from the zone and shifted to designated areas in the city within a period of 10 years,” it says.
Old markets such as Lajpat Rai market shall be retained as prescribed in previous plans.
“Existing activities may continue in the form of retail. The clustering and agglomeration of inter-connected retail activity associated with old city and as identified by local body shall be promoted,” it says.
It also says that the “fine grain fabric and street morphology of Shahjahanabad is critical to its character and shall be retained”.
The document says group housing typology and stilt parking shall not be permitted but reconstitution of larger areas (such as at sub-zone level) shall be permitted for purposes of integrated area improvement and regeneration.
“A traffic management plan shall be implemented for the walled city, identifying vehicular thoroughfares, pedestrianized areas and streets, limits and timings for service vehicles, common parking areas for residents and tourists, and commuter dispersal plans around metro stations that serve the walled city.
“Active travel shall be promoted in the area and it shall be a priority along with providing facilities for walking, cycling, etc.