Traders in DDA markets demand relaxation in norms in the new MPD-2042
The association of markets developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has written to the land-owning agency to relax the development control norms in the next Master Plan of Delhi, the draft of which was reviewed in a meeting by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal last week.
The DDA Market Joint Action Committee, an association of close to 200 DDA local and community shopping centres in Delhi, has demanded Floor Area Ratio (FAR) at par with commercial complexes that have come up in mixed land use areas and to individual owners instead of the entire market.
Currently, the FAR in neighbourhood markets is 100-125 whereas that of commercial developments in mixed land use areas (especially residential) is 350-400.
SS Bhatia, senior executive member of DDA Markets Joint Action Committee, said, “The disparity in FAR has to be addressed. Why will people invest here when they are getting more FAR and other benefits in mixed land use areas?”
In 2018, the DDA allowed redevelopment of neighbourhood markets but with a rider that the increased FAR can be availed if the entire market is redeveloped.
Yashpal, executive member of the DDA Market Joint Action Committee, said, “We have bought these properties on commercial rates. We should get the benefit of higher FAR which is currently being given to commercial properties in mixed land use areas. While the DDA amended the master plan provision in 2018 allowing redevelopment of markets. But the norms are such that we can’t redevelop. It is difficult to get so many stakeholders together for redevelopment. Our main demand is that we should individually get the benefit of increase in FAR and the development control norms should be relaxed.”
A senior DDA official said no decision has been taken on the issue even as work on the next master plan is underway. “There have been discussions with the market associations in this regard in the past. There has been no new development on it as of now. The work on the new master plan is underway and efforts are being made to address all the issues. So far, no decision has been taken on this issue.”
Urban planning experts say that comprehensive development of these markets is the only way forward. AK Jain, former planning commissioner with DDA, said that this is a longstanding demand of the market associations but it is not possible to give FAR to individual units as these local and community shopping centres, especially those developed after 1957 when DDA came into existence, have been developed on a comprehensive plan. “It is difficult to mark individual shop owners, as these were constructed as per a comprehensive plan. But as these are old markets, these should be redeveloped. If 70% of the shop owners can come together, then redevelopment can be made possible. But for this, they need to have a catalyst or a developer entity. Also, arrangement for their transit accommodation has to be worked out,” said Jain.
Apart from relaxation in redevelopment norms, the association said that there should be relaxation in parking norms. They say that at a time DDA is pushing for making the city walkable, neighbourhood markets should be made pedestrian-only wherever sufficient parking is not available and which exist on 12m and above roads.
But Sabyasachi Das, former planning commissioner of DDA said, “Making these markets pedestrian only is not a solution. In a marketplace, parking has to be provided. For the redevelopment of these markets, the associations will have to come together.”