A non-profit registered society, Greha, working with the residents of Aya Nagar, an urbanising settlement on the south-western edge of Delhi, approached the Delhi Government in 1999 to improve the physical infrastructure of the settlement.
The Chief Minister made a visit to Aya Nagar in October 1999 and, in a public meeting with the residents, agreed that a programme of urban improvement through public-private partnership could serve as a model. Greha, with their expertise in environmental planning and design, were asked to provide the technical support necessary for this improvement programme.
The first step was to identify the essential requirements of the community. For this purpose a not-for-profit society, with representatives from the different sections of the community and a public official as its chair, was registered. This society called the Aya Nagar Vikas Samiti, with technical guidance of Greha, initiated some public works in the settlement, implemented by the concerned departments of the State government. The process was slow and real improvement difficult to achieve. In October 2008, Delhi Kalyan Samiti, a body under the finance department of the GNCTD, sanctioned a grant in aid to Greha to carry forward the work in Aya Nagar. The project report submitted to the Delhi Kalyan Samiti identified 3 phases of the programme, to be delivered in five years.
The first phase of 6–9 months duration was of research and development of an appropriate methodology, with the design of an ecologically viable and sustainable water cycle for one neighbourhood adjoining the village Johar (the central rain water harvesting structure).
The second phase of 18-24 months was of detailed engineering and implementation, including training of local residents for development tasks. In the third phase of 24-36 months the improvement schemes initiated in the second phase would be monitored by experts and residents, with the eventual aim of the residents taking over the long term maintenance.
The first phase of the project has generated a working methodology, a schematic design of a sewerage and drainage system for the neighbourhood adjoining the Johar, and a scheme for appropriate utilization of public land around the Johar. It has also been instrumental in initiating a programme for greening of the Ridge land adjoining Aya Nagar, and coordinating efforts at increasing community awareness for environmental improvement. Taking note of the special problems of development work in areas which are not ‘authorized’ by the existing planning framework, GREHA has prepared a policy paper which outlines the institutional modifications required to create a sustainable urban development system within the State government hierarchy.
Scheme 1: Road Widening and Johar Redevelopment Scheme
- Drawing 1: Road Widening Scheme
- Drawing 2: Photo-documentation and Location Plan
Scheme 2: Public Health - Drainage Scheme
- Drawing 1: Settlement Drainage Plan
- Drawing 2: Neighbourhood Drainage Plan
- Drawing 3: Engineering Concept