Give us more teeth, says DUAC

Give us more teeth, says DUAC

Delhi's urban art commission wants all city agencies to work together

I always carried a resignation letter in my pocket after being appointed the chairperson. I used to wonder if the chair would be like a kiss of death at this age,” joked Raj Rewal, chairperson of DUAC, at an event on Friday.

At a discussion of the Delhi Urban Art Commission’s (DUAC) role in changing the city landscape, Rewal said the body should have more teeth in being able to decide on urban planning.

DUAC is a statutory body that advises the government on preserving, developing and maintaining the aesthetic quality of urban design in Delhi. It was set up in 1973.

The current Commission (2011-2014) took a proactive role in planning and designing the city by taking up seven city-level projects during its tenure.

This includes carrying out a study of site specific design for wards like Kalkaji and East of Kailash, Chittaranjan Park and rehabilitation of unauthorised colonies such as Aya Nagar and New Ashok Nagar, among others.

Rs 100 cr proposal

DUAC was granted five  crore rupees to carry out the study. It had initially sent a proposal for a grant of Rs 100 crore.

“The aim was to direct civic bodies how to go about urban planning without stepping on their domain. We worked on areas that we thought would make valuable contribution to city-level planning,” a member of DUAC said.

Hi-tech toilet

DUAC also prepared the first prototype of a hi-tech public toilet, which has been installed outside gate number six of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is planning to replicate the model across its areas soon.

While speaking of the DUAC’s lack of ‘enough pow’, the chairperson pointed out the need for different civic bodies like Delhi Development Authority, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and NDMC to share a common platform with the Commission.

Highlight architecture

“There is also a need to highlight architecture as a profession. As a part of the architecture fraternity, we believe that a plaque with the name of an architect, engineer and builder should be installed in a building to acknowledge the effort of the team,” Rewal said.

The Commission has also simplified existing building by-laws for easy interpretation by architects.

Painter Jatin Das, who attended the event, pointed out the need for inclusion of an “artist” in the Commission.

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