DDA bid to regularize farmhouses - The Economic Times

DDA bid to regularize farmhouses


NEW DELHI: Delhi Development Authority is moving ahead with plans to regularize farmhouses,even those with built-up areas beyond permissible limits,while allowing new country homes on minimum plot areas of one acre.

The long-pending farmhouse policy will see DDA levying penal charges for regularizing farmhouses exceeding floor area ratios (FAR).The FAR for new farmhouses,to be called country homes,will be increased from the current 1% to 20%.Most farmhouses violate the 1% norm several times over.The policy will cover nearly 2,400 farmhouses in areas like Mehrauli,Neb Sarai,Chhatarpur and Rangpuri.

Although a farmhouse policy has been on the anvil for long,it has faced resistance within DDA on grounds of being elitist.It has also been argued that new farmhouses will curtail new urban extension areas meant to accommodate Delhis swelling population.In order to make the policy more palatable,DDA intends to include in it a plan for unauthorized colonies,urban villages and parts of the walled city as well.The comprehensive policy will be considered by the DDAs next meeting in July.The regularization will cover farmhouses that came up prior to February 2,2007 in Delhis green belt.

The new developments will be called low density residential areas and,according to a May 26 DDA note,will be largely covered by farmhouses.

So far,action against farmhouses has been halted by the yearly renewal of the Delhi (Special Laws) Act.But the measure is intended to ensure a final policy decision is arrived at, a process that has dragged on since the courtdriven demolitions were halted.

"After protests over the farmhouse policy at the last authority meeting, we are working on a policy that benefits a wider section of society besides farmhouse owners,'' said an official. In 2007, the government decided that farmhouses that had an excess built-up area with or without sanction plans should be protected by special laws act. "The proposed farmhouse policy aims at r egularizing construction by recovering steep penalties from owners,'' the policy says.

But the pla n has faced resistance from DDA and a dissent note was put out at the last meeting of the DDA. "The policy is beneficial only to 3% of population... If this area is to be a low density area, the balance population will have to be accommodated in the remaining 75% of the proposed urban area at a very high density ," it says. However, DDA ability to provide such housing and supporting amenities is likely to be tested, with government increasing looking at private partnerships. Also existing farmhouses are not likely to be demolished -- despite DDA claim that it wants to acquire some of these areas -- and many pockets face water stress that will be aggravated by high density construction .

Some DDA officials feel that it might be necessary to approach the Supreme Court for houses that fall in regional park or ridge areas. Sources in the Lt Governor's office claimed that demolishing existing farmhouses in the green belt with settled populations did not seem feasible . Once approved, the policy will need the approval of the urban development ministry before being notified. The master plan will then be amended.
Read more
Reply
0 Replies
Sort by :Filter by :
No replies found for this discussion.