Hauz Rani will suffer high casualties in disaster: Study

The Delhi Urban Art Commission has proposed major redevelopment plans for Hauz Rani village in south Delhi which has seen rising haphazard growth in the recent years.

With narrow lanes and bad housing conditions, the urban village located near Press Enclave Road will suffer severe casualties in case of a disaster, points out a study.
The study was conducted by the commission recently and is yet to be officially released.
The urban village is around 800 years old and suffers from lack of open space and congestion on its streets.

“Bad housing conditions dominate the village. The village is vulnerable and it can have dangerous effects in case a disaster happens,” said a DUAC consultant.

 There is little chance of mass evacuation in the existing conditions here.
The narrow lanes in Hauz Rani are blocked by two-wheelers parked there. There is little pedestrian space in the area.

“In case of any emergency, it will be impossble for fire brigades and ambulances to reach inside the village in the existing scenario. Also, there is a lack of open grounds and community spaces. So there is no space available which can be used as refuge or spillover spaces,” said the consultant.

There are several dilapidated buildings here which can be utilised for community spaces.
The area has seen haphazard growth with both horizontal and vertical extension of buildings.

One of the reasons of overcrowding is the comparative cheaper rental values in the area, the study has pointed out. So civic bodies need to have refuge areas in every locality for residents in case there is a disaster.

There are also several small-scale hazardous industries in the area which put the population there at high risk.

The commission has now proposed that one of the redundant exits of Malviya Nagar Metro station be reinstated.

This will allow pedestrian movement from the Metro station to the village. The narrow lanes need to be relieved of vehicular congestion so that pedestrian movement is possible.

“There is a need to ensure that the road width is adequate. The ambulances and fire tenders should be of specific design and sizes suitable to the street widths,” said a DUAC official.

There is also an immediate need to identify streets which can be accessed by vehicles in emergency situations.

With overhanging balconies, the area wears a gloomy look with little light entering it during daytime. The water supply in the area is erratic and the sanitation level is poor, the study shows.

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