Delhi: Final Report of the Delhi Town Planning Committee Regarding the Selected Site, March 1913

The published report on March 1913 had given the final selection of the site for capital, which was the original south site that the committee first recommended. This report recapitulated the aim and construction of the new capital was to ‘convey the idea of peaceful domination and dignified rule over the traditions and life of India by the British Raj”.  The town planning of the site was the idea of having the Imperial capital and absorbing the traditions of all historical tradition. It illustrated the principles that the current site had met, including the historical and social aspect of having the connection to some of the old cities of Delhi through railway system and proximity. It also mentioned the drawback of irrigation water transportation, dust and glare.

 

Apart from the explanation of the site decision, the final report included the layout of the city in general(Fig. 1.1). It set a central point of interest in the layout which represented the keystone of the rule over the Empire of India, consisted of the Government House, the Council Chamber and the Secretariats. The position at the Raisina hill also gave a sense of the life and authority overlooking the entire capital. The circulation path from the avenue slowly approaching the Government House, the wide steps of stairs (Fig,1.2) , portico and dome put the imagination of visitors from the machinery to the prime moving power itself. 

 

After the concern of setting a clear city centre as the soul of the entire capital, the axises were drawn from the important buildings to other notable facilities and amenities, like railway station, post office and the ground including all the intellectual facilities. The restricted layout and alignment of streets allowed the continuous expansion in the future yet remain the highest degree of freedom for the planning. It even included the planning for open recreational area or other practical stuffs for efficient city operation, for example the traffic diversion and routes, water works and drainage. Even if no detailed design of the capital the principles and decisions can be seen with details.

Fig. 1.1 The Final Layout of the New Capital
Source: “ Final Report of the Delhi Town Planning Committee Regarding the Selected Site, with Plan and Two Maps,” vol.20 (East India: Reports of Commissioners), Cd. 6889, 1913.
Fig. 1.2 The Flight of Stairs connecting to the portico of Government House
Source: Byron, Robert. New Delhi. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1997.

Source:

“ Final Report of the Delhi Town Planning Committee Regarding the Selected Site, with Plan and Two Maps,” vol.20 (East India: Reports of Commissioners), Cd. 6889, 1913.

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