Archive for May, 2013

DU Open House Closed To Questions On Old Structure

Posted by rajat On May - 30 - 2013

Comparative Questions Shot, Aspirants Left With Doubts

New Delhi: Delhi University’s ‘open house’ on Tuesday failed to clear many students’ doubts about implementation of the new four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP). Questions comparing the structure of the new programme with the previous one were not taken up.

Deepak Tyagi, a student of Delhi Public School, decided not to ask a question about the advantages of the fourth year of study compared to the three-year BCom (H) when a similar question was shot down.
My elder brother studied the three-year-programme and spoke very highly of it. While I understand that the new format will give me more options, I wanted to know why the extra year isn’t just a waste of time and wanted a comparative analysis of the two courses,” he said, adding, “I’ll ask the teachers in different colleges when I apply”.

Dean of Students’ Welfare, J M Khurana, answered an array of questions about the specifics of the new programme but refused to entertain any questions concerning the old course structure. “Don’t ask me about what was before. What was here before is no longer here.”

The assembled DU aspirants tried their best to clear doubts. “I have no control over the system, but I want to know as much as I can about it and make the best of it,” said Shivani Grover, an aspirant.

Most questions were about the differences between foundation and applied courses, whether it will be possible to switch to another course after completing the foundation programme, and whether students will be able to choose a minor subject from the undergraduate level for their post-graduation.

While most students seemed confused with the sheer change that the fouryear programme has brought about, some teachers said the process is advancing smoothly. “The admissions are coming along nicely. We are doing our level best to help the students in any way we can, and their queries and the response have been quite good,” said Pratibha Jolly, principal, Miranda House.

Source: Times of India

Master plan: Govt Wants Norms Eased

Posted by rajat On May - 28 - 2013

1,639 Colonies Don’t Meet Regularization Terms

New Delhi: In a bid to deliver on its promises to residents of unauthorized colonies, the Delhi government is seeking relaxation in Master Plan 2021 and building control norms so that regularization becomes possible for the 1,639 colonies that do not meet town planning and fire safety criteria.

The state’s urban development department has sought relaxations in MPD-2021 in an official mail to the union urban development ministry to enable regularization on an “as is where is” basis.

The letter from Delhi urban development secretary RK Srivastava to Sudhir Krishna, his central counterpart, written over a fortnight ago, reveals how the state wants changes in the norms under MPD 2021 to facilitate the making of layout plans by the municipal corporations in colonies which fail to qualify as per current norms.

The state informs that local bodies are of the view there is a marked change in the number of plots submitted by RWAs at the time of application in 2007-08 when compared to the present ground
reality. The boundaries for these colonies have been fixed based on aerial survey images and 50% built-up area in 2007.

There are plots in these colonies of less than 32 sq metres as against the provisions of MPD-2021. Besides, the existing width of roads in many colonies may be less than six metres which is contrary to fire safety norms.

Existing ground realities cannot be ignored. Hence the MPD norms may require relaxation,” the department has written.

The local bodies have reported that it would be difficult to strictly adhere to existing norms of town planning and fire safety in these colonies. In this case, the department feels that the layout plans of these colonies may not be approved.

In view of this, the department has now suggested to the ministry that the “only way forward could be to regularize the colony on as is where is basis by relaxing MPD-2021 and building control norms subject to certification of structural safety by a qualified architect or engineer”.

To justify the relaxations, the department says that the norms of MPD-2021 may be made applicable to unauthorized colonies while undertaking incentivized redevelopment.

Source: Times of India

City Roads to be Repainted by July

Posted by rajat On May - 25 - 2013

New Delhi: Come July, all roads in the city will sport a new look. In a Rs 20-crores project, the PWD will repaint 1,250 kilometres of roads across Delhi with thermoplastic paint, which has glass beads and glows in the dark. According to the plan, each road will have designated lanes, arrows, lanechanging zones, bus lanes, said an official. Though a basic requirement for city roads, these are rarely followed on ground.

 delhi roads repainting

“While the work has already begun in some stretches, other stretches will be looked after as soon as dense carpeting is completed in those areas. The paint that will be used will be similar to the one used during the CWG,” said PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan.


The contractor will be responsible for maintenance of the paint along these stretches for the next two years. If the paint fades at any place, they’ll have to repaint it at no additional cost to the government, said a senior PWD engineer.


Thermoplastic paint is four times costlier than a regular paint, said an official. “Regular paint lasts about two months after which it begins to fade. Thermoplastic paint is much more durable and lasts 2 years. It also shines better, making it more visible for road users,” added the engineer.


At present, no real lanes have been marked in the city and the markings are not uniform. The PWD has drawn up a list of basic rules for all lane and intersection markings, which have to be uniformly followed. “We have circulated drawings of how each road lane and intersection have to be marked, complete with demarcated lanes, arrow markings, stop lines and lane changing zones. Bus lanes will also be marked,” said the engineer.


Source: Times of India

Alternative Plan for Barapullah Loop

Posted by rajat On May - 5 - 2013

PWD Submits Three Options To UTTIPEC But Traffic Still Poses Problem

New Delhi: The public works department (PWD) has submitted a fresh plan to the planning body UTTIPEC for the termination of Barapullah phase II on Aurobindo Marg. The traffic police had objected to the initial plan of constructing three loops on Aurobindo Marg as it would have caused a traffic nightmare on the arterial road.


However, UTTIPEC officials foresee many difficulties with the new plan, which suggests three alternatives. The plan, which is based on a traffic study of the stretch, does not take into account rapid development in the area, including an upcoming Metro station and a central government scheme to develop Kidwai Nagar, and would eventually cause a traffic mess in front of Dilli Haat, said officials.


Any such proposal has to take into account the future development of the area. The matter will be discussed with the traffic police and other stakeholders before a decision is made,” said UTTIPEC director Ashok Bhattacharjee.


PWD has submitted three alternatives to the earlier proposal. The first is an elevated road for traffic descending from Barapullah to take a right turn towards Jor Bagh. The second alternative, an elevated road, caters to traffic coming from the AIIMS flyover and headed towards Barapullah or Jor Bagh. The road will split into two directions: one for traffic continuing straight towards Jor Bagh and the other will allow traffic to take a right turn to climb the Barapullah elevated road. Commuters will be able to proceed on Barapullah towards Mayur Vihar or use any of the six upcoming loops in the Rs 385-crore phase II to exit the elevated road, added officials. “We prefer this alternative as it takes care of most needs based on the traffic study,” said a senior PWD official.


The third alternative proposes a long elevated U-turn from the Dilli Haat side to cross over to the other side and climb Barapullah towards Mayur Vihar.


However, while Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is already constructing a Metro station for the Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar line that will connect Sarojini Nagar, INA, South Extension and Lajpat Nagar, a special pilot project is being done at Kidwai Nagar under the central government scheme of General Pool Residential Accommodation.


The Kidwai Nagar project is part of a scheme to develop low-height residential areas. If the elevated road comes up in this fashion, the colony will be fractured from INA. Plans are being worked out for traffic outflow from Kidwai Nagar,” said a government official.


The Metro extension is also expected to increase pedestrian footfall in the area, and the agency will be developing the area with transit-oriented-development (TOD) principles which takes into account at least a kilometre area of the Metro influence zone.

Source: Times of India

Delhi 2050: See for Yourself, Online

Posted by rajat On May - 5 - 2013

New Delhi: When a group of architects interviewed some children in Delhi, they found the youngsters didn’t know the city developed around the Yamuna. It made them wonder if, come 2050, the river will exist at all in the new generations’ mindscapes.


What else will change in the city? Will it be more unsafe to step out at night? Will the city choke on jams and noxious air? A team of architects and town planners launched a unique online project recently that aims to recreate Delhi in 2050 with inputs from citizens.

Dutchman Anne Feenstra, working with the architecture platform arch i, started Delhi 2050 in 2010. “Before approaching the government, we wanted to gather all facts, figures and opinions,” he said. The team recently contacted National Capital Planning Board, Delhi Development Authority and the urban development ministry which showed interest. IIT Delhi, School of Social Sciences at JNU, School of Planning and Architecture and Indian Institute for Human Settlements are generating data for the project.

The process is simple. Anyone interested in participating may log on to the Delhi 2050 website. Here, infographics compare Delhi with other international cities for various parameters. Delhi has very high particulate matter pollution compared to Milan which has very high nitrogen dioxide emissions. “We are trying to see how Delhi is faring compared to other cities with similar population density and size. We cannot compare Delhi with New York or London but it can be compared to Sao Paolo, Milan and Madrid,” Feenstra said.


The team has developed a number of demo models. The ‘urban harvest’ model explores how a residential colony in Mayur Vihar can be completely decentralized. To harness solar energy, the infrastructure is covered with a membrane of titanium dioxide which can also harvest rainwater. Vertical farms have been installed on this micro-model which use hydroponics to reduce water intake by 1/20th of its current demand. The future societies living in this imaginary model would comprise farmers who live and work there.


The live-and-work paradigm is also in force in the Life Street model which is trying to make Khirki Village a safe and friendly neighborhood by making it a space where people put up and work and there is activity on streets even at night. Another project, Aap Ki Sadak, has involved residents of Malviya Nagar, Khirki Extension and Sheikh Sarai in developing a consensus plan for improvement of public transport. The data collated from public consultations and online inputs will be presented to agencies in June.


The website has detailed information on the urban heat island effect (in which temperatures of built up areas are higher) in Delhi. “These areas demand more energy because their air conditioning needs are way higher. The temperature difference can be up to eight degrees,” said Feenstra.


Delhi 2050 is the only Indian architecture project part of 26 international projects to be presented at the fifth International Architecture Biennale 2012 in Rotterdam.

Source: Times of India

Delhi Fails to Draw Upon Green Energy

Posted by rajat On May - 5 - 2013

City Not Utilizing Full Potential, Says Report

New Delhi: When it comes to meeting renewable energy targets, the capital is among the worst performers. A report released by Greenpeace and Infraline Energy on Monday — which compares the strides made by 29 states to increase the share of renewable power in the total supply — shows Delhi’s lack of ambition on this front. This is despite having a per capita consumption almost twice the national average.


According to the report, Powering Ahead on Renewables: Leaders and Laggards, Delhi met 0% of its renewable purchase obligation (RPO) in 2012, while Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Karnataka overshot their targets. RPO is a government regulation that makes it obligatory for state electricity regulatory commissions to buy a certain percentage of electricity generated from renewable sources. The targets were set by different states in 2010 to achieve the National Action Plan on Climate Change requirement of 15% renewable energy supply in India by 2020.


Delhi’s installed capacity of solar energy is about 2.53MW and that of bioenergy is 16MW, which makes up 0.3% of the city’s energy supply. This is a meagre share compared to the pace at which other states are harnessing renewable energy and reducing dependence on coal. “As the national capital, Delhi should have been a trendsetter. But the city doesn’t even have a policy on renewable energy, ” said author of the report, Abhishek Pratap.


While some projects, including a 5MW solar power plant at Dadri and a 54kW solar grid connected power plant at Bawana, are in the pipeline, their contribution will be miniscule as Delhi has not invested in offgrid solar projects, says Pratap. “Delhi has tremendous potential for creating solar rooftops and generating biomass energy from surrounding rural areas. It may generate up to 300MW of renewable energy, but that needs to be assessed. It has huge open spaces and Metro stations that can tap solar energy,” added Pratap.


The report recommends that RPO directives be made mandatory by the power ministry with provision for a penalty. It finds the RPO targets extremely ‘conservative’ as the assessment of renewable energy potential is not proper.


Renewable energy is not costly. The report projects that a higher target should have marginal effect on tariff from 2013 to 2020, with an increase of 15-30 paise nationally.

Source: Times of India

Additional Year May Turn an Expensive Affair

Posted by rajat On May - 5 - 2013

To Cost Extra 1.07L For Hosteler, 2.27L For Those Staying As Paying Guests

New Delhi: An extra year in Delhi University, as envisaged in the new four-year undergraduate programme, from the new session, may come at an additional cost of up to Rs 1.07 lakh if one is staying in a college or university hostel.


And in case of a private paying guest accommodation, the entire affair can be dearer by as much as Rs 2.27 lakh. The additional year in the new programme, many fear, will put a considerable financial strain on students. Outstation candidates will be the affected the most. “We’ve travelled 2,000km to study because we don’t have such institutes back home and some families have to spend half their monthly income on a DU education,” says Chinglen Khumukcham who just graduated from DU with a BA Honours in History.


“My father has a very small business and earns Rs 15,000 a month. He was sending a large chunk of it to me.” Accommodation is expensive. He says rent for a single room is Rs 6,000 at least without food and utilities. For students staying at a distance from their colleges, the commuting expenditure has also to be accounted for. “Many families can afford to send only one child but with the new structure they’ll have to think twice even about that,” he says.


Girls prefer to stay in the same area as their college. The rates for college hostels vary with the old ones being far more economical. Those which have been newly-constructed or the ones that were renovated for Commonwealth Games are considerably more expensive. An extra year in one of those amounts to an extra expense of Rs 80,000 – Rs 90,000. Private arrangements – typically in the form of paying guest accommodations and flat or roomshares —aren’t any cheaper.


Deepak Sethi, a final year student at Kirori Mal College, says “even a bad PG in a bad area will charge Rs. 5,000 per month. The demand for PGs is higher from girls than for boys and security is also an issue for them. A good PG can cost as much as Rs 12,000,” he says, fearing that the cost of an extra year of study will deter students from financially weak backgrounds. And these rates are not fixed. Maya John of Centre for Struggling Women adds that the slightest change in the regular schedule of DU results in an increase in rent. “It increased when the Metro touched DU and again during CWG,” she recalled.


Then there are books, stationary, cost of travel and tuition fee. Students and teachers wonder what kind of increase the new elements, including the foundation and value-education courses, in the 4-year programme will translate into. Fee structures are not available yet, but if that of the Cluster Innovation Centre, which runs four-year programmes of ‘innovative’ courses, is any indication, the new programme won’t come cheap.

Source: Times of India