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DU hitch for Metro’s 14-storey housing complex

The DMRC plans to build a 14-storey residential complex near the Metro station at DU.

delhi Updated: Mar 01, 2010 00:12 IST

The DMRC plans to build a 14-storey residential complex near the Metro station at DU. The University authorities, however, feel the multi-storey building will vitiate the campuses’ tranquil atmosphere.

The DMRC wants to build the 14-storey building next to a 3.05 hectare plot near the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station for property development. The plot, allotted to DMRC by DDA, is presently used as a parking lot.

“The building will be totally out of character with the University’s ambience,” said Deepak Pental, DU Vice Chancellor. “It will also lead to traffic snarls. We already have a huge traffic problem.”

Pental has written to DDA to stop the project. “We also believe that DMRC has not sought the Delhi Urban Arts Commission’s permission,” he said. The DUAC’s permission is mandatory for the construction of a multi-storey building in the city.

“We are not going to build a huge residential complex. The building will have only 140-odd flats and will not affect the University’s serenity,” DMRC spokesman Anuj Dayal said. “Two DMRC chief engineers have met the DU authorities and have assured that we are following regulations,” he said.

“As for traffic, provision of parking will be taken care of during construction,” he said.

“DU needs hostels and auditoriums, not such residential complexes. This will vitiate the campus atmosphere,” said Subhash Chopra, MLA and Member, DDA.

The housing project is facing problems on another front, too. According to DDA’s composite development control norms, the DMRC is allowed only up to 25 per cent ground coverage and 100 Floor Area Ratio to build a residential complex. However, the DMRC needs 33 per cent ground coverage and 200 FAR to build a 14-storey building.

The issue was debated in a DDA meeting on February 17 and non-official members raised a hue and cry against the project. DMRC’s Managing Director E. Sreedharan was also present in the meeting.

“We had written to DDA in 2007 and had said we can go ahead with the project and had given a clearance for 200 FAR. After this, we floated and awarded the tender in 2008,” Dayal said. “When we went to the MCD, they referred the issue to DDA. Now, DDA is saying only 100 FAR will be allowed.”

DMRC has already taken Rs 100 crore from the bidder and will get Rs 100 crore more later. However, if the project gets hampered, it will be a huge setback for the corporation.

DMRC said the property development project is important as it will generate much needed revenue for the fast-expanding metro network. “World over 50 per cent additional FAR is allowed near metro lines so more people can stay there and utilise the system. Without 200 FAR, the project will become unviable,” he said.