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Green and blue… two colours that will shape Delhi’s future | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The green and blue infrastructure — Delhi’s green belts and waterbodies — will play a key role in shaping its future, the draft Master Plan for Delhi 2041 envisages, focusing not only on their protection but also on increasing their net area.
The draft plan states these assets will help in mitigating climate change and play a key role in reducing air, noise, water and soil pollution. A database will be maintained by the government and Delhi Development Authorty to periodically assess their “health”.
To bring people closer to these natural assets, MPD 41 aims to provide public access to a few by developing them as recreational sites consisting of “interactive” zones where temporary activities such as yoga, nature classes, environmental research, picnics, camping and biodiversity tours will be permitted. Buildings will face these green-blue assets and maintain active faces in the form of balconies, windows and pedestrian entries.
Cycleways and walkways in and around these sites have also been encouraged. For the Yamuna, a 300-metre-wide green buffer will be required along the edge, with a 30-metre area left for grasses and ground cover, while development of 75-100-metre-wide greenways with cycling and walking trails have been suggested. However, no permanent structure will be allowed in the floodplain.
“The health of all environmental assets shall be monitored from time to time,” the draft plan states.
Growth in Delhi’s green cover will be carried out by using only native plants and species, which will act as pollution filters, while techniques such as Miyawaki forests and smog absorption towers can be adopted at hotspots. A “tree directory” will also be maintained, with each agency identifying unique tree corridors or heritage trees in its area.
Pavements, roads and roofs will be constructed or coated with light-coloured materials, with a high albedo value wherever possible. “This can reduce local temperature by 3-5 degrees Celsius. Road sections shall include appropriate trees and buffers to reduce air and noise pollution, as well as sustainable urban drainage components.”
To further reduce air pollution, MPD 41 prescribes adoption of mix-use and transit-oriented development to reduce average trip lengths and bring jobs and homes closer to transit networks.
Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of research and advocacy at Centre for Science and Environment, says for the first time, new principles of urban planning have been adopted explicitly to control vehicular pollution, which is a good sign. “However, there is still scope and need for further tightening of the action targets for all pollution sources and overall air quality,” she said.

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