The Development Authority was created in 1957 under the provisions of the Delhi Development Act”to promote and secure the development of Delhi “DDA has played a vital role in the orderly-yet-rapid development of Delhi. The city has become the residence of choice for more than 11 million people and this number continues to increase. Delhi became the focus of government activity in 1911 when the British shifted the capital from Kolkata to Delhi. The initial location proposed for the Capital was to the north of the Northern Ridge. It was later changed to the present location around Raisina Hills.
Renowned town planners Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker planned the city of New Delhi in the year 1912. In 1922 a tiny Nazul Office, comprising of 10 to 12 officials, was set up in the Collectorate of Delhi, the first authority to regulate the planned development of the city. In 1937, the Nazul office was upgraded to an Improvement Trust, constituted under the provisions of the United Provinces Improvement Act, 1911, to control building operations and regulate land usage.
India’s Independence in 1947 and resultant migration increased Delhi’s population from 7 lakhs to 17 lakhs by 1951. Open spaces were occupied by migrants. Civic services virtually collapsed. Delhi Improvement Trust and Municipal Body, the two local bodies at that time, were not adequately equipped to cope up with the changing scenario.
In order to plan Delhi and to check its rapid and haphazard growth, the Central Government appointed a Committee under the chairmanship of Sh. G D. Birla in 1950. This Committee recommended a Single Planning & Controlling Authority for all the urban areas of Delhi. Consequently, the Delhi Development (Provisional) Authority – DDPA – was constituted by promulgating the Delhi (Control of Building Operations) Ordinance, 1955 (replaced by the Delhi Development Act, 1957) with the primary objective of ensuring the development of Delhi in accordance with a plan.