An advisory to city planners drawing up the capital's Master Plan III, the guidelines have been submitted to the Supreme Court and put on a website inviting public comment. "We want transparency and public participation," maintains Delhi Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor. Broadly, he says, the objective is to check further haphazard growth while taking a humanitarian and pragmatic view of existing violations and opening the doors to redevelopment.
But critics say that congestion will increase if high-rises are permitted, infrastructure and utilities will be overstretched and a premium put on illegality by regularising unauthorised colonies and legitimising mixed land use. Kapoor, however, stresses that the "idea is not to increase building density". Says he: "In fact, the built-up space will be kept at 45 per cent, against 55 for other cities. As for regularisation, perhaps 70 per cent of Delhi's built assets are unauthorised. You can't just demolish them."