Delhi Master Plan 2021 to be amended
Ahead of crucial bypolls in 20 Assembly constituencies of Delhi, the Centre has stepped in to provide relief to traders in the sealing crisis by deciding to amend the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 and allowing uniform floor area ratio (FAR) across localities and reducing the conversion charges to help traders facing sealing action.
The ministry of housing and urban affairs, which has the administrative control of Delhi Development Authority (DDA), moved on Wednesday to finalise amendments to MPD-2021 and give immediate relief to traders, which have been a dedicated votebank of the BJP. Amending Master Plan has always been considered an unusual step taken in rare circumstances. It requires calling a meeting of the DDA authority. If the authority agrees to amend the Master Plan, a time of 45 days is given for public objections. For early relief to traders facing the threat of sealing, the ministry has moved an amendment to reduce this time from 45 days to three days.
An authority meeting would take place on Friday. Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “We are in the process of amending the Master Plan to resolve the issue. DDA would file an affidavit in the Supreme Court before February 7.” Elaborating on the amendments to be moved in the authority meeting, Puri said that uniform FAR would be provided in local shopping complexes, commercial centres, residential areas and shops. At present local shopping centres (another term for shop cum residential complexes) are allowed a lower FAR of 180, which means the vertical limit is three floors. However, shops in commercial centres are allowed an FAR of 300, which means a vertical limit of four floors. By allowing uniformity in FAR, the local shopping centres would be allowed a higher FAR or in other words, the government would regularise their fourth floor and save traders facing sealing action.
Another major amendment would be reduction in penalty charges. At present, MPD-2021 prescribes penalty amounting to 10 times the annual conversion charges for mixed use, which becomes very high for traders. Puri said that there would be a reduction in penalty charges through an amendment to Master Plan.