Some of Delhi’s poshest areas such as Golf Links, Sunder Nagar, Bengali Market and Bharti Nagar can now hope to grow vertically with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) mulling to shrink the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone (LBZ).
The DDA, responsible for formulating guidelines for zonal plans, recently presented a report on the LBZ (Zone D in the Master Plan of Delhi) to the Union urban development ministry.
Sources said the report vouches for relaxing the stringent LBZ norms in areas that do not have any bungalows constructed in the 1930s by Edwin Lutyens and his team of architects.
The Lutyens’s Bungalow Zone (LBZ) is spread over around 3,000 hectares in the heart of Delhi.
Many areas were added to the LBZ in 1988 and 2003 to maintain the low-rise skyline and heritage of the Lutyens’ area.
The government now plans to ‘shrink’ the LBZ area so that more FAR, increased height and basements could be allowed in the extended LBZ or areas on the periphery of LBZ.
The urban development ministry wants to clearly distinguish plotted houses from bungalows in the LBZ.
In fact, sources said that the relaxing of LBZ norms in these areas is a precursor to the more contentious issues of relaxing norms in the bungalows itself.
The Delhi Urban Art Commission has also written to the Delhi Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna to consider uniform FAR in the extended LBZ and is studying the area to gauge the ground realities.
“The FAR in LBZ is 20 and we are studying that if FAR is increased four to five times and height is increased, how would it look visually and if there is enough infrastructure such as water, power and parking space to sustain it,” said DUAC Chairman Raj Rewal.
“Property prices in areas such as Golf Links is about R13 lakh per square yard and if FAR is increased leading to more efficient use of the buildings, it would justify the prices better,” said Shveta Jain, executive director of real estate consultants Cushman and Wakefield.
“A New Delhi Redevelopment Advisory Committee was set up in 1974 so that huge buildings don’t come up near the bungalows. At that time, restrictions were put in place over the existing ground coverage and FAR and no basement was allowed,” said AK Jain, former Commissioner (Planning) and author of the ‘Lutyens’ Delhi’.