Support high-rises; need money to enhance infra: Delhi govt

Last Updated: Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 15:04

New Delhi: Supporting Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath`s push for vertical growth in the city, the Delhi government has said the Centre will have to give adequate funds to it for enhancing existing infrastructure if such a policy is finalised.

Delhi Urban Development Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said basic services like drainage, water supply and power distribution network will have to be strengthened if vertical expansion in the city is allowed.

"We absolutely have no problem with vertical expansion of Delhi. But when approval is given to high-rises, then we will have to strengthen existing infrastructure like sewage network, water distribution system and power transmission. The Centre will have to provide Delhi government funds for enhancing the infrastructure," Lovely said.

Vertical growth will also address the problem of shortage of housing in the city and insisted that sincere efforts must be made to ensure optimum use of land resource, he said.

Nath has been strongly pitching for allowing high-rise buildings in Delhi to accommodate the growing population.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was understood to have reservations about the proposal. She had said that availability of power and water should be factored in before allowing high-rises in the city.

The Urban Development Ministry is currently in the process of reviewing the Master Plan of Delhi 2021 and is expected to finalise a number of amendments soon like allowing high-rises and increasing the existing floor area ratio (FAR).

FAR is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the plot area. "We must ensure optimum use of scarce land resources. I think vertical growth will address the problem of housing shortage also," said Lovely.

Senior officials in the Delhi government said the Urban Development Ministry as well as Delhi Development Authority have given enough indication of increasing the FAR.

The Delhi Development Authority in March had approved the long-awaited land pooling policy. It allows developers or land owners to pool in land for constructing residential blocks.

The Delhi government`s decisions yesterday to extend Lal Dora to 360 more villages and easing restriction on use of agriculture land for construction are also aimed at encouraging private developers to construct residential units.

The government yesterday decided to ease restrictions under the Section 81 of the Land Reforms Act which will mean agricultural land will be allowed for construction of houses and other purposes.
Lal Dora refers to land which is part of the village `abadi` (habitation) which is used for non agricultural purpose only. It was exempted from the building bye laws, construction norms and related regulations under Delhi Municipal Act.
Officials said the decision to extend Lal Dora to 360 more villages has been taken to address the problem of housing in the city.


First Published: Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 15:04
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