Type of paper: Essay

Topic: City, Population, Water, Infrastructure, River, Development, Growth, People

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/03

Delhi is undoubtedly one of the most expansive and fastest developing cities in the world. This is attributed mainly among many other reasons, the high population of people living in the city and the constant development of social amenities to deal with the high population of people. The city is clearly categorized into two, the Old and the New Delhi, owing to the fact that the city has had two dominant inhabitants namely the Mughals, who ruled and built Old Delhi, and the Britons who ruled and build New Delhi. As stated, the city is constantly growing and this growth, though commendable, has marred Delhi as it has brought about a number of urban challenges that have affected accessibility, sustainability, availability of open spaces in the city, and in turn, authorities have had to deal with density issues due to population growth.


Accessibility differs in Old and New Delhi. This difference is caused by different designs and the way of life of the protagonists of the two regions. Both the Britons and the Mughals built their sides of the territory based on their cultural alignment and for military or commercial posterity. Streets in Old Delhi were narrow and a bit crooked compared to streets in New Delhi, which are straight and wide. The old Delhi was planned based on the Hindu principle of Shahjahanabad, which meant that the city had to be bow shaped with the River Yamuna being the string. Movement in the Old city is limited due to the narrow roads and the presence of numerous water canals formed from River Yamuna, which were used by ancient merchants. The narrow roads and numerous water canals have limited the development of wider roads and the expansion of the road networks. This is a shape contrast to New Delhi, where the roads are wide and straight and has a well developed transportation system that boasts of wide straight roads that meet international specifications, rail and metro stations and international airports. The Britons built this kind of road network so as to ensure a faster flow of military ware into the territory. Currently travelers can land at the Indira Gandhi International airport and then travel to the city centre, in less than 3 minutes, using a dedicated metro rail that travels at over 165mile/second. This metro rails connects the city to the airport passenger terminal. One is able to access any part of the city through the wide spread road network that is well planned and managed. However, population growth has forced authorities to look for ways of expanding the transportation system to accommodate the increased number of users of the current transportation network. Plans are underway to for the construction of more metro stations that will connect densely populated areas like Dwarka and Gurgaon. These metro stations are aimed at encouraging Delhi inhabitants to use public transportation. This is due to the high level of congestion witnessed on Delhi roads, given that over 10 million vehicles use the city’s roads on a daily basis. Other proposed developments include pedestrian and cycle pathways that will be built along green areas across the city
Figure 1: Road system in New Delhi
Source: http://www.delhiheritagecity.org/images/nominated-area/new-delhi.jpg
Figure 2: Road system in Old Delhi
Source: http://wpcontent.answcdn.com/commons/thumb/0/0d/1863_Dispatch_Atlas_Map_of_Delhi,_India_-_Geographicus_-_Delhi-dispatch-1867.jpg.


Since the capital city of India was moved from Calcutta to Delhi, there has been significant rise in the number of inhabitants residing in the city. According to a Census Report of 2011, the population of Delhi stood at over 15 million people compared to a population of 12 million in 2001. This means that over a period of ten years the population of Delhi grew almost double. This may be a positive aspect, economically because of the increased market that an increase in population presents. This however poses a lot of concern to city planning authorities, considering that the density of Delhi stands at over 11000 people per square mile, on an area that is less than 15000 square miles. This makes Delhi one of the most populated cities in India. This increase in population was also caused by a large number of refugees who were escaping war in neighboring regions. Population increase has been tagged as responsible for major social issue that have plagued Delhi. These issues range from illegal land allotments which are rampant in Delhi and stagnated development and pollution. A large number of people living in some sub-cities have been forced to live without shelter due impending court cases due to illegal land allotments. Numerous efforts have been placed by the High Court in Delhi to clear cooperative societies that have been at the centre of these scandals, but it has taken time for the residence to enter their houses due to the long legal processes that govern land allotment cases.
The population of Delhi is projected to increase even more, it is estimated that it will experience a population growth of over 46 percent by the year 2021. This growth projection is attributed to continuous development in various sectors of the city’s economy. As stated earlier, there is constant emphasis on infrastructure development and expansion, most social amenities for instance institutions of higher learning and hospitals are located in Delhi. Thus this growth scenario gives city planners a hard time especially where the increased population will live.


In urban planning, sustainability has everything to do with environmental responsibility and the utilization of natural resources. This has been one of the main shortcomings of authorities in the city of Delhi. River Yamuna is considered the most polluted river in India, the most polluted part of the river is the one passing near Delhi. In the ancient days the river was the main source of water in Old Delhi, apart from being an important medium of transportation and a site for religious practices. In New Delhi, the river is too polluted for human use. This is because of the large quantities of sewage that is released into the river. This high level of pollution has meant that the water flowing in the river can only be fit for industrial use. Poor government oversight has been blamed for the degradation of the Yamuna. In an attempt to revert the situation, there have been proposals to have the government to overhaul the city’s sewage system by erecting a number of effluent treatment plants. This will help reduce the toxic gases emission considerably and in turn provide alternative sources of energy from the sludge digestion process. The importance of sustainability has been recognized and this has lead to the government organizing forums like the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, on an annual basis so as to give stakeholders a chance to air their view on how sustainability can be achieved in the city.

Open space

There has been an evident absence of open communal spaces in both the Old and New Delhi. According to information availed by the Delhi Urban Art Commission, the Old Delhi Shahjahanabad planning model gave little consideration to open spaces. This was however compensated upon by having large communal building like mosques with super large court yards. In New Delhi availability of open spaces is also a challenge mainly due the large population density witnessed in the city and the high level of development that is continuously going on in the city. The limited open spaces that are available have been criticized by the commission as to be more of foreign (Briton) influence with little or no consideration to local needs. Open spaces in New Delhi are centered along monuments and other attractions such as large drainage channels and ridges. The government however has been in the fore front in incorporating the development of open spaces alongside path and cycle ways that have been proposed as mitigation measures to traffic congestion in the city.
In conclusion, all the principle discussed are vital in ensuring that a city is built accordingly however it is not at all times an undemanding task to build a city that is perfect. However as John Lund noted, it is always important to consider the fact that building a good city may seem to be a complicated process, but is should not be so if only the needs of the people the city is being built for is properly articulated, with environmental conservation being the corner stone of the whole process.

Work Cited

Kriken, John, Rapaport, Richard & Enquist, Philip. “City Building.” Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.

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WePapers. (2021, February, 03) Example Of Essay On Delhi. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-delhi/
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Example Of Essay On Delhi. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-delhi/. Published Feb 03, 2021. Accessed March 25, 2023.

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