Union Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath has suggested vertical growth in the city to decongest areas. In his review of Master Plan 2021, the minister said that there is an inefficient use of urban land at present as the permitted floor area ratio (FAR) is very low.
He told reporters that the issue needs to be ‘examined holistically’ so that FAR is increased and more skyscrapers come into existence.
Nath’s comments come at a time when the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is coming up with ‘local area plans’ (LAP) to streamline development works in each municipal ward. The plans also look at developing areas like Chandni Chowk and Jahangirpuri vertically to create space for amenities like schools and roads. At present only 75-80% of FAR is allowed to buildings depending on the plot size and the height is restricted to 15m so that a maximum of four floors can be built.
So, if the plot is 100 square metres, the owner can build up to four floors on 75% of the land which mean that the FAR goes up to 75x4 = 300%.
For big plots on which commercial and other governmental office buildings are to come up, FAR is more flexible and special building plans have to be submitted. In 2009, the MCD had started the LAP pilot project in 33 wards and the plans are to be submitted soon. According to MCD officials, they have been supporting vertical expansion and to increase FAR since long.
A senior official of MCD, however, said that such large-scale expansion can happen only with cooperation from private developers. In return of building the skyscrapers, they can be provided land for commercial activities.
Jagdish Mamgain, Chairman of Works Committee, MCD said, “In terms of FAR, Mumbai is far more relaxed than Delhi where only 15 metres of height is allowed.”