In a major relief to lakhs of residents in Delhi, the government has relaxed norms for construction of additional floors in residential flats having multiple ownership with an aim to weed out corruption and help people get their building plans sanctioned without any hassle.
As per a new directive, people having right over third floor will no longer require to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the other floor owners for expansion of third floor.
Top officials in the Lt Governor's office said a "very clear-cut" instruction was given to all the municipal bodies last month not to insist on production of NOC for giving approval for construction of third floor". However, the occupants of the existing floors will have the option of expressing their views to the municipal bodies about expansion of the building.
The Lt Governor directed the municipal corporations to examine structural safety and compliance of building bye-laws while giving approval for construction of the third floor.
"It was decided that permission for construction of an additional floor may be granted by respective municipalities keeping with provision of building bye-laws," the official note said.
It said the municipal corporation must look into aspects such as "structural safety, fire safety, non obstruction of passages and air and sunshine for neighbours and neighbouring buildings" before approving any building plans.
Officials said occupants of existing floors will have the option of expressing their views to construct a third floor in a flat but the municipal corporation will have to take decision on applications purely on merit.
While the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD)-2021 allowed construction of third floor in residential areas the Supreme Court in an order in 2007 had stayed the provision till it came out with its final order on MPD.
However, the court in March 2008 allowed construction of third floor in residential areas on the condition that owners of the flat will have to submit an affidavit saying that they will abide by the final decision of the court on the validity of MPD-2021.
"The new policy talks about structural safety and meeting the building by-laws. The parking norms are also important for getting a building plan sanctioned," Commissioner of South Delhi Municipal Corporation Manish Gupta said.
The Union Urban Development Ministry in 2010 first moved a proposal to lift a restriction on taking mandatory NOC of floor owners if an owner of the third floor wants to go ahead with such construction.
The municipal corporations have been sanctioning building plans for construction of third floor taking an affidavit from the applicants that they will abide by the final Supreme Court verdict.
The MPD-2021, which came into effect in 2007, allowed residents to construct third floor (ground plus three floors) and the height restriction was raised to 15 metres from 12 metres.
Municipal officials said they have sanctioned around 27,000 building plans for construction of third floor since 2008. They said the norms are being tackle complaints of corruption in getting NOC and to ensure a "hassle free" process for approval of building plans.
Khanna had sought comments from the Delhi government, municipal bodies and Delhi Development Authority before making the changes in the norms. The Delhi government and municipal bodies had favoured scrapping the provision for obtaining NOC.
The Urban Development Ministry is currently reviewing the MPD 2021 and officials said the Ministry may come out with more relaxation for vertical expansion of the buildings. Urban development minister Kamal Nath has been pushing for vertical expansion of Delhi which has been opposed by Delhi Urban Art Commission.