DDA approved three proposals—uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential complexes, reduced penalties, regularising agri godowns
Urban planners largely did not approve of the Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) approach of tweaking norms to end the ongoing crisis due to sealing drive across markets in the National Capital.
Instead of coming up with blanket norms inviting further unplanned development, they suggested that the authorities must focus on framing specific norms that would have long-term benefits.
The DDA on Friday approved three proposals — uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential complexes, reduced penalties and regularising agricultural godowns — to amend Master Plan 2021. The move, officials said, is aimed at providing relief to traders hit by the on-going sealing of commercial establishments.
According to Arunava Dasgupta, head of urban design at School of Planning and Architecture, a blanket FAR in the city is not a healthy precedent as different parts of city have different capacities for development.
“Within the crisis management scenario, which we are witnessing today, if norms are changed or tweaked, it raises an open question whether the benefits will be short-term or long- term. Or, whether it will benefit a certain group of people at the expense of others,” Dasgupta said.
The DDA’s move comes at a time when the officials of three municipal corporations are supervising a sealing drive that started last month in accordance with the instructions of a Supreme Court-appointed panel. The shops and restaurants being sealed have either not paid conversion charges — the premium for converting residential premises into commercial ones — or have flouted permitted FAR.
“These markets are places which are already saturated and not a place where increasing FAR will help. Instead, restrain any further growth of public activities that required a bottom-up scenario of decision making,” Dasgupta said.
The planners also questioned the urgency in which the DDA wants to amend the Master Plan 2021 law for the traders’ relief.