New Delhi: The fact that hundreds of unauthorized colonies in Delhi had to be regularized through legislation is a "tribute to bad planning", Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said on Monday.

"It is not necessarily bad enforcement, it is bad planning. I think, Delhi has had the problem of bad planning and bad enforcement. It is just not bad enforcement. What will you enforce? How can you enforce 1,600 irregular colonies? Tell me who is going to enforce it," Nath said at a Delhi Development Authority (DDA) workshop here on 'Review of the Master Plan of Delhi 2021'.

"Perhaps we are the only country in the world which had to bring in legislation, the Delhi Special Laws, saying we are going to regularize it. What is this a tribute to? It is a tribute to bad planning," he added. Nath said enforcement agencies alone could not handle problems created by poor planning.

The minister also said there was no scope for lateral expansion in Delhi, and added that the concept of National Capital Region had also put a further load on the capital with people living here, working in NCR and vice-versa. Market forces have to be considered while planning for urban areas, Nath said.

"Today, planning has to be driven by market forces. There was an old concept of DDA making a plan, that we'll have a community centre here and a shopping centre here. Now you can't say that there will be a shopping centre here if we can't determine it with market forces," he said.

He said high-rises were needed as otherwise slums would keep coming up in the city. "Why should we not have high-rises? If we don't have it we make it a city of slums. Where is the choice?" he said.

The Minister said everyone wanted large open spaces but the ground realities had to be factored in. "Good planning cannot be good poetry" he added.


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