DDA proposes higher floor area ratio if market has no pubs
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has proposed to increase the total usable area of buildings, called the floor area ratio, in local shopping complexes provided no pub or bar operates from the commercial spaces, BJP legislator and board member Vijendra Gupta said on Saturday.
The move is aimed at providing relief to traders facing the threat of sealing by a Supreme Court-appointed committee that has clamped down on unauthorised commercial establishments since December last year, sparking a political slugfest between the ruling AAP and the BJP.
At present, DDA allows a floor area ratio of 180, which means only three floors can be used for commercial purposes.
The authority has proposed to increase the ratio to a uniform 300 that would allow commercial use upto four floors.
Besides conversion charges — a premium paid to convert residential spaces for commercial purposes — will not be taken after 10 years and markets will be pedestrianised wherever adequate parking facility is not available, as per recommendations that the land owning agency’s board of enquiry submitted on Saturday for amendments to the city’s master plan 2021.
The changes, however, require approval by lieutenant governor (L-G), Anil Baijal, at the authority’s board meeting on February 27. The L-G is the chairman of DDA’s board.
“The recommendations have been sent to DDA. We hope the L-G will approve them in the DDA board meeting,” Gupta said.
Apart from Gupta, the fivemember board of enquiry includes another BJP MLA, OP Sharma, DDA’s member finance and chief town planner.
Headed by Jaish Kumar, member engineering of DDA, the board was set up by the land owning agency to review suggestions and feedbacks to the proposed amendments.
Officials said that DDA put the restrictions on bars/pubs following a suggestion from a delegation of resident welfare association representing apex residents’ bodies such as the Delhi RWA’s Joint Forum, Delhi Resident’s Forum and GK-1 RWA during a public hearing on February 9.
The move to tweak the master plan had sparked criticism of DDA with many questioning the three-day public hearing. Even the Supreme Court had on February 5 questioned the DDA’s proposal, slamming it for refusing to learn from past tragedies, and labelled it the “Delhi destruction authority”.
The DDA had later extended the three-day public hearing to a week.
Officials said the amendments in the master plan, which will be applicable after being notified by the Union ministry of urban and housing affairs, will not bring any relief to shopkeepers who have been found violating construction norms. Not paying the conversion charges is the major violation by shopkeepers.