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Night-time economy in proposed Master Plan can raise productive use of city resources: Delhi Lt Governor

For promoting and incentivizing clean industries, DDA is considering to incorporate dynamic provisions in MPD-2041 by way of identification of strategic investment zones for creating clean economy hubs, he said.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal

Delhi's Master Plan 2041 will be notified this year and will for the first time include provisions for a night-time economy, said Lt Governor Anil Baijal on March 2. This plan is a ‘critical intervention’ that can lead to several positive results and substantially increase productive use of city resources by utilising city infrastructure throughout the day, resulting in higher economic output, he added.

Baijal was addressing the CII Delhi State Annual Session 2021-22 and Business Conference titled 'Building Better Delhi: Vision 2047'.

“For the first time, the Delhi Master Plan has included provisions for promoting night-time economy. This is a critical intervention that can result in many positives. It will support economic activities that can thrive at night, for instance, cultural activities, certain industries, logistics, etc. thereby helping to stagger work timings and reduce congestion on roads. This will also substantially increase productive use of city resources by utilising city infrastructure throughout the day, resulting in higher economic output. Night life can also provide interesting options for citizens to participate in recreational, cultural and creative pursuits after work hours,” he said.

Fostering a 24X7 city will not happen overnight and will be achieved through an incremental process, Baijal added. To begin with, certain culturally active precincts and hubs shall be identified where such night-time activities may be permitted during certain events or festivals. Citywide festivals that celebrate night life will also be supported.

“Over time such initiatives will be scaled to cover large parts of the city. Similar piloting followed by scaling will have to be undertaken for other economies such as freight hubs, BPOs/KPOs that can operate round the clock. I am sure that organizations like the CII, Corporate Houses, Chambers of Commerce and Associations will play a critical role along with the government in achieving this,” he said.

He said that the Master Plan for Delhi – 2041 (MPD 2041), which will be notified during the current year, is a continuing as well as a prospective document that aims at taking Delhi to the much deserved place on the high table of internationally acclaimed Capitals.

“Rather than being a regulatory manual, it will be an enabling plan for development of India's Capital as a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive Metropolis,” he said.

The MPD 2041 "focuses on environmental sustainability, quality livability and economic and cultural vitality. I have been consistently speaking of demistifying the plan document by making it easily understandable to the common citizen. And therefore the MPD 2041 is a comprehensive yet comprehensible document,” he said.

The Plan aims at addressing the concerns of affordable housing, pollution free environment, inter-city mobility and transportation, water availability and supply, spatial advancement, revitalization of brown field spaces and economic vitality with full involvement of citizens of Delhi, as people who have vested interests in addressing and managing these concerns, he noted.

He also said that from being a coercive and archaic regulator, in the future, the government’s role should be that of a vigilant enabler and facilitator.

“It will help ensure that the major mismatch between demand and supply of housing and commercial real estate, is addressed and unauthorized colonies and slums don't need to come up ever again,” he said.

Baijal said the private sector can improve efficiency of delivery due to the inherent financial considerations apart from bringing about innovation in terms of quality of development, new typologies to meet changing needs like rental housing, serviced apartments, co-working spaces and in general an improved relationship between market demand and supply.

For promoting and  incentivizing clean industries,  DDA is considering to incorporate dynamic provisions in the MPD 2041 by way of identification of strategic investment zones for creating clean economy hubs, FAR incentives and ensuring better inter-city as well as regional connectivity by creating transit oriented development corridors, Baijal said.

As part of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Policy, DDA is promoting development of multi-modal transit hubs to create compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport. TOD hubs at Karkardooma and New Delhi Railway Station are being planned under this policy. This is another area that will envisage massive  public-private partnership, he added.

Over 100 senior leaders and 500 delegates representing industry and other fields attended the first day of the CII conference over a virtual platform.

Delhi government may allow electric bike taxis

Speaking at the session on Delhi Emerging as the EV Capital of India, Ashish Kundra, principal secretary cum commissioner - Transport Department Government of NCT of Delhi, said that in February, sales of electric two wheelers were double that of  e-rickshaws sales in the capital.

Elaborating on the steps taken by the Delhi government in the electric vehicle space, he said that the Delhi Transport Corporation has placed an order of 1,500 electric business and there has been an in-principle approval for 1000 buses in the cluster model.

“Associated challenges remain for depot electrification for which we are in talks with discoms,” he said.

He revealed that the draft for the aggregator guidelines is already in place and the government would be notifying the guidelines in a month or two.

The aggregator policy proposes incentives to ensure that the transition to EV in the ride-hailing industry happens in a time-bound manner.

Regarding vehicles that are more than 15 years old, he said that there are around four million such vehicles that are registered with the government of which a significant number would still be plying. “We have said that we will either allow them to be sold outside of Delhi where they are allowed or they can retrofit and switch to electric. This will create a new vertical in the retrofitment space,” he said.

On setting up public charging infrastructure, he said that a bid has been floated for 100 locations and is in the final stage, adding 30,000 charging points are expected to come up on a subsidized platform.

He also revealed that the Delhi Government may allow electric bike taxis in the future.

“In Delhi, commercial registration of two wheelers is not allowed so far. We are going to allow bike taxis only of they are electric through the aggregators’ model,” he said.

He said that Delhi government is also in talks with IIT Delhi to support the establishment of an incubation centre for electric vehicles. “The idea is to provide seed money to start-ups in this space and then maybe get angel investors and venture capitalists to partner.”

Vandana Ramnani
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Mar 2, 2022 09:26 pm