Both the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) — the civic body for central Delhi — and the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) had recommended that the area of the Lutyens Bungalow Zone, be reduced considerably. They had acted under instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office.
NDMC, in its report to the Urban Development ministry on December 24 last year, had suggested the present area of 3,000 hectares be halved. The DUAC had been more miserly. In its report submitted November last year, this body had wanted the bungalow zone to be restricted to 930 hectares. This zone was designed and built by British architect Edwin Lutyens in pre-independence days.
On June 17, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy will look at both recommendations on restructuring the bungalow zone, and following his nod, the DDA will table the notifications on June 18.
NDMC has also suggested that the Delhi ridge, Chanakyapuri, Safdarjung Airport, Golf Links, Sunder Nagar, Bengali Market and the Delhi Golf Club be removed from the present Lutyens Bungalow Zone — the boundaries of which were last drawn in 2003.
After the notifications, areas that will no longer be in this zone, will also not have any restrictions on the floor-area ratio. Restrictions on building height should also be removed, the NDMC has proposed.
The Lutyens zone also has to adhere to a common rule — one cannot construct a bungalow which has more than the ground floor. The NDMC suggests that all areas inside this zone at present, and which do not have bungalows designed by Edwin Lutyens, be kept out. These areas are Jor Bagh, Mandir Marg, and the stretch between Windsor Palace and the Gol Dak Khana. The areas north and south of Rajpath will be retained within this zone.
Once the zonal plans are approved, the next step is to formulate special development control norms around the Central vista which has government offices and buildings.
The Urban Development Ministry had first constituted the New Delhi Redevelopment Advisory Committee (NDRAC) in 1972 when the redevelopment of the areas around the walled city, north of Connaught Place and on Prithviraj Road was taken up.
Following the demand for development control norms in the area, the Lutyens Bungalow Zone (LBZ) was first notified in 1988 and later modified in 2003.
* The Delhi ridge: This 685-hectare area is being excluded from the LBZ because there are no bungalows here. The area is also governed by strict Forest laws.
* Chanakyapuri: The Satya Marg Government housing side was built after 1947. It should be excluded as the buildings here have no similarity to Lutyens’ design.
* The Safdarjung Airport area: The area has no bungalow and so has little chance of remaining in this zone.
* Golf Links, Sunder Nagar and Bengali Market: These colonies were also planned after 1947. At present they do not stick to the one-floor rule either.
* Delhi Golf Club: Once again, no bungalows in this green zone.