February 09, 2007

"Master Plan to increase commercial spaces"

`New buildings would now be able to come up without height restriction' `There is scope for private participation in the construction activity' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW DELHI: Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy on Thursday said the new Master Plan for Delhi-2021 notified on Wednesday seeks to increase commercial spaces and provides incentive for redevelopment of old places. Height restriction He also announced that the public document would be available on the Government website from Friday morning. The Minister said new buildings would now be able to come up without height restriction. But the floor area ratio should not exceed 33 per cent despite the existing being 100 per cent in many places. "We thought how can Delhi look like a really modern city and came up with this redevelopment plan. In my view this will give a huge and welcome facelift to Delhi.'' Stating that a lot of emphasis had been laid on multi-level parking blocks both on public and private land, Mr. Reddy said this would address a major problem of Delhi. Farmers "Also farmers can develop their land for housing provided they fulfil the societal obligations of providing common facilities and giving 15 per cent of their FAR for the weaker sections at their own cost. It is a win-win situation for all," he added. The issue of housing for slum-dwellers, he said, would be addressed through in-situ or in-situation redevelopment wherein the land would be given to builders through tenders and they would be required to create a housing pool, having units of about 300 square feet each, for the economically weaker sections that would be handed over to the Delhi Development Authority for allotment. The builders would recover their costs and profits through development of housing for the rich and commercial spaces on a percentage of the plot. Weaker sections The Minister said the policy was now clear. "Wherever housing is encouraged, the same area must have apartments for weaker sections. There will be no exclusiveness for rich and service providers will be accommodated in vicinity as this also reduces burden on public transport.'' Moreover, no more plotted development will be allowed in Delhi and only group housing will take place. He hoped more housing would help in moderating prices as well. Technology sectors Mr. Reddy said as Delhi despite being the Capital city was now known for high technology sectors, information technology and bio-tech parks would be developed. "We are also providing for conversion of industrial area into commercial ones on roads that are at least 80 feet wide. Instead of sealing and demolishing these structures, we would charge them and allow commercial use.'' Green area The new Master Plan also allows commercial use of inter-state bus terminals, bus depots and other bus terminals by permitting economy hotels to come up thereon. Besides, commercial activities on ground floor have been permitted in all DDA colonies. As for the green area, the Minister said 11,000 hectares along the border would remain green. "Delhi is known for its large green areas and so we would not sacrifice them and strike a balance between environment and galloping real estate development.'' Nevertheless all activities would be permitted in these green areas. "We will have farmhouses there where functions will be allowed. But there will be no construction.'' On the issue of sewerage, water and power, the Minister made it clear that it was for the Delhi Government to make those arrangements. Source: hindu.com