NCR is a dead concept, admits Sheila Dikshit

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New Delhi, Oct 30: Admitting that the concept of 'National Capital Region' has completely failed, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said the satellite cities around Delhi have not been able to reduce pressure of the burgeoning population on the metropolis.

''The NCR is a dead concept as nobody is willing to give up anything. We have our regular meetings, make promises that we do not keep,'' she said, while addressing a conference on 'Delhi Vision 2021' at the PHD chambers here.

She regretted that the satellite cities--Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida--had not been able to take any pressure off Delhi.

The concept of National Capital Region was first envisioned in the recommendations of the first Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) notified in 1962 comprising Delhi and a few ring towns around it, which was to be developed as a metropolitan region to reduce the population pressure on Delhi's infrastructure.

The Chief Minister also admitted that though there has been an increase in Government's revenues by way of VAT by 28 to 32 percent in Delhi, implementation of the Plans has been tardy as things get mired in age-old laws. ''We are ten years behind schedule in implementation. Unless we change the system and make it more proactive, it will be difficult to turn Delhi into a global metropolis,'' she said.

She also pointed out that presence of multiplicity of authorities has been both a problem and a challege for Delhi.

''While the DDA which is in charge of housing in Delhi, owes its existence to the Union Urban Development Ministry, Delhi Police comes under the Union Home Ministry. The Lt Governor has the final say, as he is the chief administrator. But, when there is a Blueline accident or shortage of water, the Delhi Government which is an elected body, is percieved to be responsible for all this,'' she said.

As the 73rd/74th Amendments have been kept aside, the muncipal authorities are elected bodies but their members have no say, and also, the constitution of a metropolitan authority is yet to materialise, she said. ''The Muncipal Corporation of Delhi, which has the capital's over 95 percent area, is also torn between the Urban Development Ministry and the Delhi Government.'' ''It is through sheer goodwill that we get work done. The success of Delhi Metro and CNG implementation has been due to single-minded commitment and implementing authorities were given free hand,'' she said.


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