The heritage byelaws for Sher Shah Suri Gate and Khair-nul-Manazil — the first for any monument in Delhi and also in India — have raised a debate about which is supreme — the heritage byelaws or the municipal byelaws vis-à-vis FAR.
The municipal byelaws allow 30% floor area ratio (FAR), while the heritage byelaws approved by the National Monument Authority (NMA) for Sher Shah Suri Gate and Khair-nul-Manazil peg it at 25%.
Located on Mathura road, the two monuments are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The NMA was asked for byelaws by the high court in connection with a case pending for its infrastructure expansion. After an amendment in the Archaeological Act in 2010, the NMA can permit new construction only as per the heritage byelaws.
"How can heritage byelaws override municipal byelaws? The Master Plan is supreme (therefore) the court has sought a clarification," AS Chandiok, president Delhi HC Bar Association, said.
"The amendment is very clear…heritage byelaws would prevail. We would reply to court soon," Pravin Shrivastava, NMA member secretary, said.
The byelaws have not allowed construction within 0-100 metres of the monuments. In case of regulated area (101-300 metres), it allowed new buildings from 7.5-21 metres to match the existing height in four zones that the court complex has been divided into. "The idea is to make people not just aware, but also empathise with the monuments," Shrivastava said.