Why Delhi's Nehru Place Needs a Saviour
Named after the country's first prime minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Nehru Place is a thriving marketplace, especially for the information technology (IT) industry, and has been regarded as South Asia's biggest such hub. The region is a stronghold for manufacturers and promoters of IT hardware and accessories.
If you have not been to the place, the area's description above may give you the impression of a posh market with newly built swanky offices of tech companies. But that is far from reality.
While other localities in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) now don a world-class look, Nehru Place has much catching up to do. This popular commercial hub in Delhi's south still faces major roadblocks in maintenance of buildings developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
DDA buildings in the area, developed in the 1970s, are in an urgent need of repair; other major problems that emerge are space crunch and poor sanitation in the area. What makes the matters worse is land encroachment; several vendors and hawkers are seen thronging the pavement in front of shops. Besides, the area has also become congested because of the ongoing construction work to extend the Janakpuri-Botanical Garden Metro line.
According to recent media reports, the Union urban development ministry has sought a report from DDA on this. DDA, which is now examining the matter, has confirmed that certain buildings require repair on an urgent basis, and it is planning to prepare a detailed redevelopment plan for the region.
What may have led to the present condition of the locality? DDA is of the view that the responsibility of maintenance of individual buildings lies in the hands of the shop owners. According to DDA officials, the task was handed over to South Delhi Municipal Corporation in 2014. The corporation, on the other hand, is hit by a cash crunch and is unable to do any maintenance work.
Amid the blame game between the traders' association and the development authority, urban design experts strongly feel the need to reorganise the region, which is only possible through the collaborative efforts of the owners of commercial establishments, the city's development authority and the government.