Govt drafting policy on construction of additional floors
New Delhi: The Delhi Government will soon unveil a policy to provide relief to lakhs of Delhiites waiting endlessly to carry out construction of additional floors in residential flats having multiple ownership.
Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said government was planning to do away with production of no-objection certificate (NOC) by people having right over third floor from the other floor owners for expansion of building.
Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna in December last year had directed the municipal corporations not to insist on production of NOC for giving approval for construction of third floor if they are satisfied with structural safety of a building and compliance of building bye-laws.
The municipal corporations, however, refused to comply with the directive of the Lt Governor, arguing that it was "very ambiguous" and "vague".
The Delhi Government is now working on a policy to allow construction of third floor in flats having multiple ownerships and ensure transparency in approval of building plans.
"The problem with the MCDs is that whenever they do not want to follow any Delhi Government directive, they will say LG has to issue the order as he is the administrator and when they do not want to follow a directive issued by the LG they will say Delhi Government has to frame a policy," Lovely said.
He said government will "soon" come out with a policy to address the issue and provide relief to lakhs of residents.
"We are formulating a policy. We feel if the building is structurally safe and title of ownership is clear then there should be no issues with sanctioning the building plan. We will come out with the policy very soon," he told PTI.
MCD officials said though the Lt Governor had asked them to do away with the NoC but he mentioned that the occupants of the existing floors will have the option of expressing their views to the municipal bodies about expansion of the building. "The directive of the LG was very ambiguous and it was open for various interpretation," they said.
Chief Secretary D M Spolia said the Government was examining the "complicated issue" seriously and working on a policy to make the process simple and hassle-free.
Though separate amendment in Master Plan of Delhi 2021 and building bylaws may be required to make the changes in the existing norms, the government was exploring whether it can go for an "executive decision", he said.
"The municipal corporations said they have reservations in doing away with NoC due to variety of reasons like ensuring car space, distribution of plot, provisions of various services and ensuring structural safety. We will take a view shortly," the Chief Secretary added.
Director of Municipal Affairs R K Srivastava, who supervises functioning of all three municipal bodies, said separate amendment in the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 and building bye-laws will be required for doing away with the existing provisions.
When asked why the South Delhi Municipal Corporation was not following the directive of Khanna, its Commissioner Manish Gupta said a number of legal issues were involved and as per existing norms taking views of the existing floor owners in granting permission for construction of third floor was mandatory.
"There are so many legal issues involved as far as construction of an additional floor is concerned. One of them is the issue of land rights.
"As of now, the three owners of ground, first and second floors share one-third land right. If an additional floor is to be constructed then the other floor owners have to forfeit their land right which will go down from 33 percent to 25 percent. It is a legal issue that needs to be addressed," he said.
Another legal issue, Gupta said, is that of floor area ratio or FAR which is also related to land.
"If there is a possibility to build within the 300 FAR in any house up from 200, the other floor owners will claim 33 percent right on the extra 100 while the second floor owner would claim it as his-- another issue which needs to be addressed.
"Then there is the issue of parking space where the ground floor owner will have to forfeit the right to some of his space to allow for more construction. Now, if someone gets the NOC from all floor owners then there is no issue," he added.
Gupta said the building bye-laws will have to be amended for doing away with the NoC.
"We are waiting for a policy. We cannot do anything till such a policy decision is made," he said.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner P K Gupta said owners should be allowed to undertake construction work as it is the need of the hour but changes were required in the law.
"We believe that the owners should be allowed to undertake construction work without facing hurdles as it is the need of the hour but we cannot implement the policy of allowing such building activity without proper changes in the law first," he said.
As per existing building bye-laws, existence of a single building is accepted and individual flats within it have no separate existence.
"There are several amendments that needed to be made in the existing laws and the master plan before doing away with NOC to allow further construction activity in a building," he said.
While the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD)-2021 allowed construction of third floor in residential areas, the Supreme Court, in an order in 2007, had stayed the provision till it came out with its final order on MPD.
However, the court in March 2008 allowed construction of third floor in residential areas on the condition that owners of the flat will have to submit an affidavit saying that they will abide by the final decision of the court on the validity of MPD-2021.
The Union Urban Development Ministry in 2010 first moved a proposal to lift a restriction on taking mandatory NOC of floor owners if an owner of the third floor wants to go ahead with such construction.
The municipal corporations have been sanctioning building plans for construction of third floor taking an affidavit from the applicants that they will abide by the final Supreme Court verdict.
The MPD-2021, which came into effect in 2007, allowed residents to construct third floor (ground plus three floors) and the height restriction was raised to 15 metres from 12 metres.
SDMC leader of the house Subhash Arya said a draft policy suggesting possible ways was sent by the unified MCD to the Delhi government last year but no reply from the government has come so far. He said the floor area ratio (FAR) should be increased for doing away with the NoC.
The Lt Governor, in his directive, had asked municipal corporations to examine structural safety and compliance of building bye-laws while giving approval for construction of the third floor.
"It was decided that permission for construction of an additional floor may be granted by respective municipalities keeping with provision of building bye-laws," the official note said.