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Delhi eases flat norms

New Delhi, Jan. 6 (PTI): The Delhi government has relaxed norms for construction of additional floors in residential flats with multiple ownership, the relief aimed at helping people get building plans sanctioned without any “hassle” and also weeding out corruption.

According to a new directive, people with rights over third floors will no longer need a no-objection certificate (NOC) from other floor owners for expansion plans.

Top officials in lieutenant governor Tejinder Khanna’s office said a “very clear-cut” instruction had been given to all municipal bodies last month not to insist on NOCs for approving construction of third floors.

While occupants of the existing floors would have the option of expressing their views to municipal corporations on the proposed construction, the civic bodies would have to decide on applications purely on merit, the officials said.

The lieutenant governor has directed the corporations to examine “structural safety” and verify compliance with building bylaws before approving such constructions. “It was decided that permission for construction of an additional floor may be granted by respective municipalities keeping with the provision of building bylaws,” an official note said.

It said the civic body concerned must look into aspects such as “structural safety, fire safety, non-obstruction of passages and air and sunshine for neighbours and neighbouring buildings” before approving any plan.

“The new policy talks about structural safety and meeting building bylaws. The parking norms are also important for getting a building plan sanctioned,” Manish Gupta, commissioner, South Delhi Municipal Corporation, said.

The Delhi master plan (MPD-2021), which came into effect in 2007, had allowed construction of third floors in residential areas. It permitted residents to construct third floors (ground plus three floors) while the height restriction was raised to 15 metres from 12 metres.

But the Supreme Court stayed the third-floor provision till it came out with its final order on the blueprint. In March 2008, however, the court allowed construction of third floors in residential areas on the condition that owners submit an affidavit saying they would abide by the court’s final decision on the master plan’s validity.

Municipal officials said that since 2008 they had sanctioned around 27,000 building plans for construction of third floors. They said the norms were aimed at tackling complaints of corruption in getting NOCs and to ensure a “hassle free” process for approval of building plans.

Municipal corporations have been sanctioning building plans for construction of third floors after taking an affidavit from applicants that they would abide by the court’s final verdict.

Khanna had sought comments from the Delhi government, municipal bodies and the Delhi Development Authority before making the changes in the norms.

The Delhi government and the municipal bodies had favoured scrapping the provision for obtaining NOCs.