Response to Public Notice
Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Delhi Development Authority Vikas Sadan, B-Block, INA, New Delhi – 110023
Sub: OBJECTIONS / SUGGESTIONS in response to DDA’s Public Notice (no number, no date) re modification to Master Plan to permit specified commercial uses in residential areas (issued in Sunday Hindustan Times, 15.12.02, p.19, text reproduced at Encl.1)
I wish to place on record in response to the above-mentioned my objections as a planner on grounds of (1) defects in content and timing of Notice, (2) conditions (for commercial use of residential premises) being ‘liberalized’ to unacceptable degree, and (3) proposed modification having no basis in planning rationale. These are detailed out herewith.
1. OBJECTIONS IN RESPECT OF THE PUBLIC NOTICE ITSELF
The purpose of issuing a Public Notice in respect of Plan modifications is to permit public scrutiny and informed public comment so that all aspects relating to the proposed modification can be carefully considered in greatest public interest before deciding about it. Public Notice is not a ‘formality’ that has to somehow be completed so that DDA / MoUD can go ahead with whatever they have pre-decided. The manner in which DDA’s Public Notices are publicized (or, rather, not publicized) leaves much to be desired. More importantly, no attempt is made to inform the public about the implications / pros and cons of the modifications on which public comment is invited, which also makes DDA’s Public Notices rather meaningless. In this particular case, however, my objections go beyond these serious but general reservations and relate to shocking defects in the content of the Notice and its timing amounting to frustrating processes of law.
(a) Gross defect, rendering the Public Notice meaningless if not outright malafide
The proposed modification says: “Creche, Chemist Shops, Art Galleries, STD/ISD Booths, Florists and Day Care Centres shall be allowed in the residential plots subject to similar conditions applicable for Nursing Home, Guest House and Bank”. It is noteworthy that all these uses are already permissible in residential plots by not being explicitly prohibited under Master Plan Mixed Use Regulations, etc. The Notice, while conveying the impression that the range of permissible uses is to be expanded, is actually about a modification that changes the ‘conditions’ under which they may be permitted. This misleading manner is objectionable under any circumstances. What makes it entirely unacceptable is that these ‘conditions’, central to the modification, are nearly impossible for the general public to access on the basis of just this Notice.
The Gazette of 01.08.90 referred to in the Notice pertains to the revised Master Plan for Delhi and the text forming part of Mixed Use Regulations on p.166 referred to in the Notice is the same as that on p.85 of the Plan document. This text does not have a “para of Nursing Home, Guest House and Bank”, after which the proposed modification text is meant, as per the Notice, to be inserted. Even otherwise, the Gazette text referred to does not specify ‘conditions’ for Nursing Homes, etc, on which other uses are proposed to now be allowed. In fact, Mixed Use Regulations as described on p.165-66 in the Gazette of 01.08.90 and on p.84-85 of the Master Plan document that can be purchased from DDA, expressly prohibit Nursing Homes and Guest Houses, etc, on residential plots (see (iii) d and e, in Encl.2). The Notice, like all DDA’s press inserts, invites public to visit DDA’s website, but neither the Notice nor the text from the Gazette referred to in it is available on the website. In the unlikely event of a member of the general public clicking ‘Planning’ and then ‘Master Plan Level Policy Modifications’ and then ‘Guidelines for allowing Mixed Land Use’ a very brief text is displayed (reproduced in Encl.3). This only says these uses have been allowed (in 1999) “subject to certain guidelines and payment of annual conversion charges/fee, etc.” The ‘conditions’ mentioned in the Notice are not spelled out.
In effect, the Public Notice neither reveals nor directs the public to what its solicits public comment about. This is most objectionable, to say the least. As a planner, I could locate these mysterious ‘conditions’, which only ‘liberalize’ commercial exploitation of residential premises (see #2). This makes, in my opinion, this misleading Notice nothing short of malafide and most exceptionable.
(b) Improper timing, frustrating processes of law
Delhi’s Master Plan is currently being revised. Delhi Development Act requires a holistic survey basis for Plan preparation and the statutory Plan requires a holistic monitoring basis for Plan modification. Powers to modify the Plan under s.11A cannot over-ride s.6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 and cannot be misused to preempt/substitute Plan making/review. Proposals, while the Plan is being comprehensively reviewed, for piece-meal Plan modifications without clarity on (a) their basis, (b) how they further Plan goals and (c) why they cannot wait for the overall review to be completed, amount to frustrating the mandatory process for Plan review and are most objectionable.
A related procedural matter is that the period over which public scrutiny/ would be possible for the revised Plan is 90 days, while a rule amendment permits 30 days in case of Plan modifications. In effect, proposals for Plan modifications while the Plan review has commenced serve to truncate the statutorily permissible period for public participation in planning, which is objectionable.
Besides being ‘sub-review’ in the statutory Plan revision, the matter of the proposed modification is sub-judice. The issue of action against commercial use of residential plots is before Supreme Court (D Bhowmick & Ors v/s DDA & Ors). A PIL in the High Court (Master Plan Implementation Support Group & Ors v/s DDA & Ar) has raised the issue of DDA disposing off commercial sites in residential areas for up-market commerce in place of local facilities that end up mushrooming in residential plots, etc, as a consequence. In view of these matters, with DDA and MoUD as respondents, this (defective) Notice seems an extra-judicial ‘short cut’ and is most objectionable.
PILs mentioned above are merely indicative of the larger debate on regularisation / permissibility of commercial use in residential areas that is obviously engaging the city. A Notice to modify the Plan in this respect, almost surreptitiously inserted in Sunday newspapers, makes a mockery of public participation in planning as envisaged in Delhi Development Act and is most objectionable.
2. OBJECTIONS IN RESPECT OF ‘CONDITIONS’ FOR COMMERCIAL USE OF HOUSE PLOTS
As mentioned, the Gazette of 01.08.90 does not have ‘conditions applicable to Nursing Home, Guest House and Bank’ (central to the proposed modification) since the Plan did not permit them in residential plots. These were permitted in 1999 vide MoUD notification No.H-11017/7/91-DDIB. The text on MoUD’s website in this regard is reproduced in Encl.4. I presume this is accurate and ‘conditions’ mentioned in it are proposed to be applied to the uses named in the modification.
Before commenting on these ‘conditions’ I wish to point out that Mixed Use Regulations are aimed at striking a balance between performance/benefit and nuisance/problems on account of non-residential uses in housing areas. ‘Conditions’ for permitting/restricting such uses are largely aimed at nuisance mitigation. Conversion charges, etc, are incidental to this purpose, but important for discipline about the Plan / law. Conditions stipulated by the Regulations of 1990 (Encl.2) are quite robust. Those allowed in 1999 (Encl.4) for some non-permissible uses and sought now to be extended to some permissible ones, however, are not so, being biased towards ‘advantage’ to (mis)users of residential plots with no regard to neighbourhood nuisance.
(a) Liberalizing restrictions on scale of commercial uses permitted on house plots
The most substantive measures for nuisance mitigation are based in restrictions on scale of (individual) uses with a view to preserving residential character while permitting other activity. Regulations of 1990 state that “commercial activity allowed shall be only on the ground floor to extent of 25% or 50 sqm whichever is less” and “establishment shall be run only by the resident of the dwelling” (see (i),(ii), Encl.2). The ‘conditions’ of 1999, however, say, “For Nursing Homes and Banks, a maximum of 2/3rd floor area may be allowed for conversion for plot size upto 250 sqm. In case of larger plots, the use for the above-mentioned purposes may be permitted subject to a ceiling of 2/3rd FAR or 600 sqm whichever is less. In the case of Guest Houses, a maximum of 3/4th floor area may be allowed for conversion” (see (ii), Encl.4). There is no restriction on anyone running the establishment. The basis for this ‘liberalization’, and its extension through the proposed modification, is unclear and arguably non-existent as this amounts not to mixed use but to commercial use of residential premises in the guise of mixed use. This is most objectionable.
(b) Liberalizing the restrictions on nature of commercial uses permitted on house plots
Mixed Use Regulations of 1990 prohibit a number of uses (see (iii), Encl.2), based on studies of nuisance/hazard attributes (see #3a). Since uses covered by the proposed modification are not amongst those prohibited, the issue of nature/range of permissible uses does not arise per se. It is, however, noteworthy that in terms of neighbourhood nuisance there is a difference between, say, an Art Gallery of 50 sqm and one of 600 sqm. The proposed modification, therefore, does seek to expand the range of permissible uses, without regard to their neighbourhood nuisance, in respect of which the ‘conditions’ of 1999 only vaguely say, “it will be ensured that no nuisance or hardship is created for the local residents” (see (xii), Encl.4). It is doubtful if this expansion of range is based on any systematic assessment of either the performance-nuisance attributes of uses covered by the proposed modification or the nuisance-mitigation efficacy of 1999 ‘conditions’ whose application it seeks to ‘replicate’. Such arbitrary modifications are objectionable.
(c) Liberalizing restrictions on extent (at neighbourhood level) of mixed use
A practical way of restricting extent of mixed use at neighbourhood level (in interest of residential amenity) is to restrict premises on which it may be permitted. Regulations of 1990 propose identification of streets/areas for mixed use by “(i) conducting a traffic study in each individual case to see whether after permission of mixed use activity there will be no adverse effect in traffic circulation in that area/street and it would be built to take additional traffic which is likely to be generated because of the mixed use. (ii) by evaluation of its impact on the municipal services and environmental needs of the area” (see Encl.2). The ‘conditions’ of 1999, on the other hand, take the liberal approach of permitting Nursing Homes, etc, on any plot above 209sqm facing any road more than 18m wide. The road width is further ‘relax-able’ to 9m in special areas and 13.5m in rehabilitation colonies, and even further ‘relax-able’ subject only to clearance by Fire Department (see (i), Encl.4). This ‘condition’, and its extension to more uses as started by the proposed modification, de-links it from the purpose of regulating extent of mixed use as it permits practically any residential plot over 209 sqm to be largely commercialised. This is most objectionable.
(d) Foregoing spatial planning measures for nuisance mitigation
Traffic and parking congestion figure among nuisance attributes of mixed uses whose resolution is amenable to – even predicated upon – spatial planning measures. Regulations of 1990 propose traffic studies for identifying areas for mixed use, as part of which “traffic management solutions like traffic free pedestrianised streets/areas and one-way traffic etc. could also be considered for introduction as a solution to the traffic/parking problem of the area”. They require for streets/areas identified preparation of layout plans “indicating (a) parking as per standard (b) public convenience (c) landscaping (d) road carriage ways as prescribed”. For plots permitted mixed use they stipulate that “front set backs …shall be surrendered without compensation unconditional to the local body for use as part of the right of way, parking, etc”. The liberal ‘conditions’ of 1999, on the other hand, say only “parking requirements of plot size over 250 sqm is to be provided within the plot. In case of smaller plots, land in the vicinity will be identified and common parking areas developed” (see (iv), Encl.4). While ‘exempting’ private establishments from substantive contribution to dealing with the parking congestion they would cause, these ‘conditions’ also ‘exempt’ DDA from the responsibility of detailed planning. This is contrary to the purpose of regulations for and the rationale for permissibility of mixed use and is most objectionable.
(e) Relaxing financial liability of (mis)users
The rationale of a user/misuser charge for permitting/regularising mixed use is to recover costs of interventions necessary for ameliorating adverse impacts and a share of worth of benefit accruing from profitable land use. Accordingly, Regulations of 1990 proposed a conversion fee based on (i) cost of provision of parking and physical and social infrastructure and (ii) differential price of space for residential and non-residential use (see Encl.2). The ‘conditions’ of 1999 do propose a “permission fee …at the rate of 10% per annum of the difference between the current commercial rate and current residential rate” (see (ix), Encl.4), recoverable from the date from which the mixed use has been functioning (see (x), Encl.4). It is also proposed that amount collected “will be placed in a separate escrow account” and “utilised for augmentation of infrastructure in and around the area” (see (ix), Encl.4). However, in the absence of detailed layout planning, this is unlikely to have happened. Similarly, while it is proposed that “in case of violation of these guidelines/default, prompt action will be taken to issue time-bound notice to party and in case of non-compliance close and seal the premises and permission fee with 100% misuse fee recovered” (see (xi), Encl.4), this too is unlikely to have happened on account of typical failures to monitor thin-spread activities, as distinct from, say, designated mixed use streets/areas. In effect, the ‘conditions’ of 1999, which are sought to be extended through the proposed modification, amount to de facto relaxation in the financial liability of users / mis-users of mixed use in residential premises. This is at the cost of public and public interest and is objectionable.
3. OBJECTIONS IN RESPECT OF THE PLANNING RATIONALE OF SUCH A MODIFICATION
While DDA and MoUD are empowered to make modifications to the Master Plan, s.11A of Delhi Development Act and the monitoring provisions of the statutory Master Plan make it clear that these modifications have to be carefully considered. From a planning rationale perspective, any carefully considered modification would further the sectoral goals to which it relates and at the same time ensure no other aspects of planned development are adversely affected. Arguably the proposed modification, however, will not further the purpose of Mixed Use Regulations that are sought to be modified, while adversely affecting planned development and progressive planning.
(a) Modification that does not further the purpose of the Regulations being modified
Mixed Use Regulations of 1990 that are proposed to be modified were not a part of the Plan as promulgated in 1962 and were incorporated in the revised Plan on the basis of comprehensive studies in mid-80s. These studies included a census of mixed-use activities, detailed analysis of their extent and nature in various types of residential areas and systematic assessment of spatial configuration and performance and nuisance attributes of various uses. Based on these detailed studies proposals were made apropos which uses may be permitted in what manner in residential areas to ensure a balance between performance and nuisance and secure planned integration (rather than haphazard and problematic mixing), which is the purpose of Mixed Use Regulations.
As argued in #2, the ‘conditions’ of 1999 are to the advantage of mis-users of residential plots at the cost of neighbourhood amenity and, therefore, the proposed modification does not further this purpose of the Regulations of 1990 that it seeks to modify. It is for DDA / MoUD to clarify how this modification is an improvement over the detailed work – at public cost – that went into framing the Regulations in the first instance. Without such clarity, the proposed modification can only be considered arbitrary, besides making detailed planning seem pointless, and is objectionable.
(b) Modification to adversely affect other Plan provisions for residential development
Mixed Use Regulations of 1990, by virtue of being embedded in the Master Plan, are part of a basket of statutory provisions for balanced development of residential areas. Tinkering with them has implications for other provisions and, as a consequence, for residential amenity. For instance, pre-school facilities on residential plots spare sites planned for these for up-market uses that create traffic and parking problems and infrastructure stress. (This is highlighted, for instance, in a detailed report sent to DDA in June 2001). Likewise, florist or chemist shops are not typical home-based trade activities, which are more by way of general retail or services that the particular resident may be qualified to provide. As such, while they may not serve any bonafide ‘need’ for home-based employment, their location in residential plots will spare sites meant for local commerce, including low-turnover/informal commerce, for up-market infrastructure stressing commercial use in violation of the Master Plan. (This is highlighted in detail in a report sent to DDA in April 2001 and is also the substantive contention in the PIL before the High Court). A far more sensible approach would be to ensure that planned commercial, etc, facility sites in residential areas become available to local residents / entrepreneurs, as envisaged in the Master Plan. Indeed, it is unlikely that housing-based occupations are less convenient than home-based ones. On the other hand, the proposed modification will lead to excessive commercialization on residential plots over and above the up-market commerce on commercial facility sites, taking aggregate commercial use at neighbourhood level beyond infrastructure carrying capacity.
A carefully considered modification of Mixed Use Regulations to allow more commercial use in housing areas at plot level would arguably have been accompanied by commensurate curtailment of provisions for commercial use elsewhere at neighbourhood level. The proposed modification has obviously not been carefully considered even in conceptual terms and will be to the detriment of residential amenity, the purpose of Plan provisions for balanced residential development. The proposed modification, while not furthering the purpose of the Regulations it seeks to modify, will thus jeopardise other Plan goals in respect of residential development and is objectionable.
(c) Modification to adversely affect Plan provisions for balanced city development
The Master Plan for Delhi, in effect, ‘budgets’ land for various uses. Successive reviews of implementation, including the mid-term appraisal in mid ‘70s and the Estimates’ Committee report in early ‘80s, have noted that implementation has been skewed in favour of more remunerative commercial and institutional land development, while development of industrial and residential land has lagged behind Plan targets. This, indeed, is why the problems of ‘non-conforming’ industries and slums have become Delhi’s most nagging problems. There is no doubt, whatsoever, that there is a shortage (on account of implementation failures) of residential and industrial space in the city and an excess of commercial space. Under the circumstances, any move to convert residential space to commercial space makes no sense.
DDA is mandated only to secure development according to Plan and the Plan makes it incumbent upon DDA to propose modifications only on the basis of monitoring of Plan targets. No systematic monitoring could possibly have found a shortage of commercial space or surplus residential space that could be converted to commercial to ameliorate this shortage. Since no basis other than monitoring of Plan targets is permissible to DDA for initiating Plan modifications, the proposal seems to represent a departure from mandate and is objectionable. The proposed modification will distort balanced development of Delhi as envisaged in its Plan by skewing land use further in favour of commercial use, which makes the departure from mandate even more objectionable. Moreover, since commercial use, unlike the residential use that it will displace, will generate employment and contribute to population growth by in-migration even as growth limitation is by far the most urgent imperative for the city, the proposed modification is most objectionable.
(d) Modification amounting to regressive rather than progressive planning
Planning is meant to be a cyclic self-refining process of survey-analyse-plan-implement-monitor/survey for problem-solving. DDA, statutorily mandated to prepare and implement the Master Plan, carries the responsibility to pursue and refine progressively evolving planning approaches in the interest of the city. Mixed Use Regulations are amongst the progressive provisions incorporated in the 1990 Plan on the basis of comprehensive survey of ground realities and assessment of previous Plan provisions and their implementation experiences. However, to the best of my knowledge, DDA (or, for that matter, other authorities of MoUD such as DUAC, HUDCO, etc) has not taken up any scheme or study to implement, test and refine these unique and robust provisions. Instead DDA/MoUD subverted them in 1999 through the notification about Nursing Homes, etc, a subversion that is now sought to be further extended through the proposed modification. In October 2001, as per a news report (Encl.51), DDA also appears to have misled the Court about mixed use provisions, interpreting the term ‘mixed use’ in English rather than in planning to justify auctioning mixed use premises for commercial use. In June 2002, a newspaper reported DDA’s intent to permit florist/chemist shops in residential plots (Encl.62), obviously in the run-up to this Public Notice.I had written then to DDA VC to draw attention to the disregard by this ‘announcement’ of Plan provisions for mixed-use, pointing out that this would be problem-sustaining rather than problem-solving.
DDA seems more inclined to use its procedural powers in pursuit of unplanned development than to exercise its responsibility of implementation of the Plan in furtherance of the purpose for which it was created and vested with, besides these procedural powers, a huge amount of public land. Not only is this contrary to DDA’s statutory mandate, in matters such as the proposed modification that, in effect, seeks to subvert a unique and progressive Plan provision, it is also what can aonly be called regressive. Such drift from mandate as well as from potential solutions to obvious and persistent problems is most objectionable.
I have, as mentioned, already written to DDA to ‘object’ to this particular modification on 20.06.02. I have also written to DDA/MoUD about related matters outlined above for much longer. I have received no response. Nor have DDA and MoUD filed reply in the PIL before the High Court. Similarly in the matter of DDA’s Public Notice of 15.09.02 (precipitated by Delhi Science Forum’s PIL against DDA’s illegal scheme for HIG flats near Sultangarhi Tomb) more than 1700 objections were filed, reiterating objections already made to DDA/MoUD over the last two years. It is not clear what is being done with those, even as DDA’s work on the site whose land use has yet to be changed to urban has not stopped, nor has DDA replied in related court matters on LIG and EWS housing entitlements under the Master Plan. Under the circumstances, it seems almost ludicrous for me to expect or seek any serious consideration of my objections. I consider it, however, my responsibility as a planner to respond to this particular Public Notice because the manner in which it has been brought out makes it almost impossible for any one else to respond to it in any informed way. I would appreciate an acknowledgement of my objection. Thanking you,
Gita Dewan Verma
B.Arch (SPA, gold medalist); M.Planning (SPA, gold medalist); PG Dip-Research (IHS-Rotterdam, top rank); Dip-Training (DoPT)
Formerly: Senior Fellow (HUDCO-HSMI), Visiting Faculty (SPA, TVB Habitat Studies), Consultant (DfID, IHSP, Nuffic, UNICEF, etc)
Currently: Independent planning researcher and writer and planning consultant to citizens’ groups
Encl.1: Text of Public Notice
DELHI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
The following modifications, which the Central Government proposes to make in the Master Plan / Zonal Development Plan for Delhi, are hereby published for public information. any person having any objection / suggestion with respect to the proposed modifications may send the objection / suggestion in writing to the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Delhi Development authority, Vikas Sadan, B-Block, INA, New Delhi, within a period of 30 days from the date of issue of this notice. The person making the objection / suggestion should also give his name and address.
At page 166 (LHS) of the Gazette of India, Part II section 3 sub-section (ii) dated 1.8.1990 under the heading Mixed Use Regulations, the following is proposed to be incorporated after the para of ‘Nursing Home, Guest House and Bank’:
“Creche, Chemist Shops, Art Galleries, STD/ISD Booths, Florists and Day Care Centres shall be allowed in the residential plots subject to similar conditions applicable for Nursing Home, Guest House and Bank”.
Please visit DDA’s website at www.ddadelhi.com
Sunday Hindustan Times, New Delhi, December 15, 2002 (p.19)
Encl.2: Clause-10: Mixed Use Regulations (Non-residential activity on residential premises) (Excerpts)
“…streets of mixed use activity shall be identified by (i) conducting a traffic study in each individual case to see whether after permission of mixed use activity there will be no adverse effect in traffic circulation in that area/street and it would be built to take additional traffic which is likely to be generated because of the mixed use. (ii) by evaluation of its impact on the municipal services and environmental needs of the area.
As part of the traffic study, the traffic management solutions like traffic free pedestrianised streets / areas and one-way traffic etc. could also be considered for introduction as a solution to the traffic / parking problem of the area.
In case it is found feasible to permit mixed use in a street / area, the same would be subject to the following conditions:
(i) The commercial activity allowed shall be only on the ground floor to the extent of 25% or 50 sqm whichever is less.
(ii) The establishment shall be run only by the resident of the dwelling unit.
(iii) The following activities shall not be allowed:
(a) Retail Shops
- building material (timber, timber products, marble, iron and steel and sand)
- firewood, coal
(b) Repair Shops
- Automobile repair and workshops
- cycle rickshaw repairs
- tyre resorting and retreading
- battery charging
(c) Service Shops
- flour mills (more than 3 kw power load)
- fabrication and welding
(d) Nursing Homes
(e) Guest House, Boarding House and Lodging House
(f) Storage, Godown and Warehousing
(g) Manufacturing units (excluding household industry)
(h) Junk shop
The front set backs of these plots shall be surrendered without compensation unconditional to the local body for use as part of the right of way, parking, etc.
A layout plan of the area shall be prepared indicating (a) parking as per standard (b) public convenience (c) landscaping (d) road carriage way as prescribed, for approval of competent authority.
Because of conversion of use / activity the conversion fee shall be charged from the beneficiary. This would be based on:
i) the cost of provision of parking and physical and social infrastructure
ii) differential price of the space of the residential and non-residential activity / use.”
Gazette of India, Part II, section 3, sub-section (ii), 01.08.90, pp.165-166; Master Plan for Delhi – Perspective 2001, August 1990, DDA, pp.84-85.
Encl.3: Guidelines for Allowing Mixed Land Use namely Nursing Homes, Guest Houses & Banks in Residential Areas
The above notification has been issued by MOUA&E on 7.5.99. As per this, Guest Houses, Boarding Houses, Lodging Houses, Nursing Homes and Banks have been allowed in Residential plots of minimum 209 sq.m. size, facing roads of minimum width of 18mts, 9 mts. in special areas, 13.5 mts. in rehabilitation colonies subject to certain guidelines and payment of annual conversion charges/fee, etc3
Encl.4: Delhi Master Plan Modified to Permit Mixed Land Use in Residential Areas
The Government has modified the Master Plan for Delhi to permit guest house, boarding house, lodging house, nursing homes and banks in residential plots of minimum size 209 sq. meters facing roads of minimum width of 18 meters (9 meters in special areas and 13.5 meters in rehabilitation colonies).
As per the notification No.H-11017/7/91-DDIB issued by the Ministry on 7.5.99, the permission shall, however, be subject to the following conditions:
- Minimum road frontage as mentioned above will be necessary for allowing above-mentioned activities. For Guest Houses, Banks and Nursing Homes which are already in existence, this requirement may be relaxed provided there is clearance from Fire Department.
- For Nursing Homes and Banks, a maximum of 2/3rd floor area may be allowed for conversion for plot size upto 250 sqm. In case of larger plots, the use for the above-mentioned purposes may be permitted subject to a ceiling of 2/3rd FAR or 600 sqm whichever is less. In the case of Guest Houses, a maximum of 3/4th floor area may be allowed for conversion regardless of size of plot. A maximum of 15 guest rooms will be permitted in Guest Houses.
- The maximum plot size for the above-mentioned activities will be 1000 sqm.
- All parking requirements of plot size over 250 sqm is to be provided within the plot. In case of smaller plots, land in the vicinity will be identified and common parking areas developed.
- Nursing Homes, on payment of a fee, should link up their disposal of waste with MCD/NDMC, to ensure hygienic disposal.
- To avoid chances of recycling of syringes, needles, plastics, the Nursing Homes must ensure that these are destroyed before disposal. A certificate in this regard should be submitted to the local authorities at periodical intervals.
- Only Branch Offices of Banks catering to the neighbourhood banking facilities will be permitted.
- No commercial activity in the form of canteen or restaurant will be permitted. Catering will be allowed only for the residents of the Guest Houses/Nursing Homes.
- A permission fee will be charged at the rate of 10% per annum of the difference between the current commercial rate and current residential rate as approved by this Ministry. The fees will be based on the actual floor area utilised for such non-residential purpose. The amount collected through the levy of permission fee will be placed in a separate escrow account by the concerned local body collecting it and will be utilised for augmentation of infrastructure in and around the area.
- Where residential premises are already being put to such non-residential use, the same will be regularised on their payment of permission fee vide Para (ix) above from the date from which its functioning has been established.
- Local bodies will ensure that permission fee is paid for each financial year within six months of that financial year. In case of violation of these guidelines\default, prompt action will be taken to issue time-bound notice to party and in case of non-compliance close and seal the premises and permission fee with 100% misuse fee recovered.
- Wherever premises are utilised for such non-residential but permissible use, it will be ensured that no nuisance or hardship is created for the local residents4
- 1. HC upholds move to develop commercial plots near houses
Sridhar Kumaraswami, New Delhi, October 14
The Delhi High Court has upheld the move of the Union Government and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to establish commercial areas near residential flats in the Dwarka area.
The Sector 5 and Sectoer 12 Dwarka Residents Welfare Association (RWA) had approached the Court to seek quashing of a public notice by the Union Government and the DDA for auction of commercial plots in Dwarka. The RWAs submitted that commercial use of these plots in an area adjacent to the residential flats would cause congestion besides disturbing the peace of the residents by installation of generators and other office equipment by the commercial establishments.
However, the Counsel for DDA Ms Anasuya Salwan submitted that in the present case, the area in question as per the “Land Use Plan” fell in the category of “mixed land use” right from its inception. She also submitted that there was a road between the commercial area and the residential flats of the width of 11.13m at most places.
It was also submitted that it was desirable to provide commercial establishments and facilities in the areas as part of the overall development and integrated town planning. The High Court was also told by the Senior Architect appearing in the case that there is an existing wall at the end of the commercial flats which would be repaired so as to prevent any access from the commercial plots to the road or to the residential flats.
In his judgement, Justice Manmohan Sarin found merit in the DDA’s approach of establishing commercial areas at the periphery of the residential area so that the majority of the residential areas are not affected by the commercial activities. While dismissing the writ petition filed, Justice Sarin held that as the layout plan provides for “mixed land use”, the petitioners do not have any enforceable legal rights in the matter.
Hindustan Times, 15.10.2001
- 2. Chemist shops allowed in residential area
Staff Reporter/New Delhi
Lieutenant Governor Vijai Kapoor on Tuesday reccomended that chemist shops and florists be allowed to set up business in residential areas. According to sources the decision was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Development Authority(DDA) chaired by Mr Kapoor.
These recommendations will now be forwarded to the Centre for its final approval. So far only guest houses and nursing home and ISD/STD phone booths are allowed in residential areas. However, these too have to confirm to the prescribed norms.
Keeping in view the growing public demand it has now been recommended that there be provisions for allowing chemist shops and florists to operate in residential areas. Eariler these activities were allowed only in designated commercial areas as these were considered businesses. The authority has also recommended the setting up of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in residential areas. These too are now only found in designated commercial complexes amd market zones.
The authority has put its seal of approval on the recommendations which will now be forwarded to the Union Urban Development ministry. The move requires an alteration in the existing land use that can only be granted by the Union Urban Development ministry.
The authority meeting, which is held every three months has also approved the awarding of financial incentives to employees who `re-skill' themselves. According to DDA officials, the meeting approved a list of nearly 20 additional degrees and qualifications which an employee can earn.
Now a DDA employee who undertakes a course and earns a higher qualification while remaining in his or her job is eligible for a cash incentive. A lumpsum monetary award will be given to the selected employee, said the DDA official.
Daily Pioneer, 19.06.02
- 3. http://www.ddadelhi.com/SProj&Pol.html#motels
- 4. http://urbanindia.nic.in/mud-final-site/w_new/index.htm