'Water, power supply should accompany high rise buildings'

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday expressed her reservations on allowing high-rise buildings in the Capital, saying availability of power and water should be factored in before going ahead with it.

She said Delhi should not become a claustrophobic city. “It should be an open city. We must have enough water. We must have enough power. There should be escalators that should be functioning. We also have to maintain greens,” Dikshit said while speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a workshop organised by NCR Planning Board.

Others present on the occasion were Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Delhi Urban Development Minister A K Walia.

Responding to a media query whether she agrees with Nath’s recent comment that since we can not grow horizontally, we should grow vertically, Dikshit said personally she was not very keen about the idea.

"Personally, I am not very keen on high-rises because Delhi has a very great sense of space. But, yes, in the outer portions of Delhi where there are lot of vacant land and that are no longer being used for agriculture,... agriculture activities are fading out..,
I am sure we can make (buildings there)," the chief minister said.

The Delhi Master Plan 2021 advocates high-rise building, but is presently being reviewed.

Dikshit stressed on the need of a common economic zone  in order to have a uniform development, resulting in a large number of employment opportunities throughout NCR. “National Capital Region should be a zone of common facilities, otherwise, due to lack of facilities, people from neighbouring regions will keep flocking to Delhi.”

The chief minister also exhorted the NCR Planning Board to facilitate completion of eastern and western peripheral expressways to ensure that heavy-transport vehicles such as trucks, dumpers that are not meant for the city need not pass through Delhi.

“The eastern and western peripheral expressways were envisaged to reduce congestion of traffic in Delhi and for developing areas in Haryana and UP. The Delhi government has agreed to provide 50 per cent initial cost of Rs1,307 crore.

It has already released Rs.653.50 crore, though the response from a neighbouring state has been lukewarm. The project has not been completed in stipulated period, resulting in substantial traffic jams and wastage of fuel,” Dikshit said.

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