Policy and planning documents define eight types of settlement in Delhi, only one of which is termed “planned”. The other seven types of settlement become, by opposition, ‘unplanned’. This ‘unplanned’ city houses the vast majority of Delhi’s residents across the economic spectrum: these settlements include the affluent farmhouses of South Delhi, well-built colonies populated by successful businesspeople, and dense slum-like areas.
The most frequently cited estimates of population housed in each of these categories of settlement first appeared in a document published in 2001 by the Delhi Urban Environment and Infrastructure Improvement Project (DUEIIP). The DUEIIP, a collaboration between the Planning Department of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest, was a World Bank-funded effort to prepare a plan for improvements in Delhi’s urban infrastructure and environment for 2021. The most striking observation recorded in the population data released by DUEIIP is that, in 2000, less than a quarter of Delhi’s population was living in “planned colonies”.