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Increase ‘floor area ratio’ if you want conversion charge: South Delhi traders

Shopkeepers say that majority of them have covered 100% area for commercial use and it would be impossible for them to demolish or restructure their establishments.

delhi Updated: Jan 09, 2018 23:48 IST
Vibha Sharma
Vibha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Khan Market,Defence Colony
Police and NDMC officials during the sealing drive in Khan Market on Tuesday.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

Shopkeepers in south Delhi markets have said that they will pay the ‘use conversion charge’ if the municipal corporation would allow them to use more covered area on at least two floors.

Many properties in Delhi’s upscale markets are used for dual purposes, with a shopping outlet on the ground floor and an eatery on the first and second floors. According to the Master Plan 2021, this warrants levying ‘use conversion charges’.

Following a sealing drive by the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee on December 22, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation had sealed 51 commercial units in Defence Colony for using residential space without paying the ‘use conversion charge’.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had reduced the ‘use conversion charge’ from Rs 89,000 per sqm to Rs 22,700 per sqm for 80 local markets, including Defence Colony, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas and Green Park. But, the shopkeepers are now saying that they should also be allowed to increase FAR (floor area ratio) from 180 to 300.

As per the layout plan approved for local shopping complexes in the master plan, 80% coverage on ground, 60% on first floor and 40% on second floor is allowed for commercial activity.

The only exception is the Defence Colony traders who have refused to pay even the revised charges, saying market had no residential component ,and approached Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Shopkeepers say that majority of them have covered 100% area on each floor and it would be impossible for them to demolish or restructure their establishments.

“The shops have 300 FAR for more than 25 years and now it will impossible to reconstruct the buildings,” said a member of Green Park Market Association.

“We have been pursuing the matter with Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat and Commissioner Puneet Goel . We have even agreed to pay the ‘use conversion charges’ on a floor area ratio of 300,” said Vijay Ansari, a shopkeeper at Green Park market.

The shopkeepers are planning to hand over a detailed memorandum on the issue to the mayor and commissioner within a day or two. Ansari said even the DDA had recommended increasing the FAR in local shopping complexes in 2015, the but SDMC is yet to take a decision,” said Ansari.

Sehrawat said that the municipality cannot change the layout plan as it is up to the Delhi government and the Union urban development ministry. “We are ready to give the traders relief but multiple agencies are involved in the matter,” she said.

The ‘use conversion charges’ revised by the DDA recently would be applicable on shopkeepers covered 180 FAR, she said.

“We are in a dilemma on whether to pay the use conversion charges or wait till we get clarification from the SDMC,” said Rajendra Sharda, chairman of Greater Kailash I M block market.

First Published: Jan 09, 2018 23:46 IST