DDA Approves Transit-Oriented Development Policy
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on September 17, 2019, approved its transit-oriented development (TOD) policy under, which the body plans to make living and commuting easier for the city's residents while also maintaining the national capital’s environmental health. To achieve that goal and to encourage use of public transport, a variety of high-density, mixed-use-mixed-income buildings would be developed within a short distance of a rapid public transport network.
An “exceptional growth in private vehicle ownership” has made the matters worse, and it is “imperative” for Delhi to adopt a TOD policy, and by way of that provide its citizens the twin benefits of better housing and better transportation, while cutting down the city's carbon footprint, says the Delhi Master Plan 2021.
The policy, which has been hanging fire for the last four years, focuses on high-density, mixed-use developments around transit nodes, instead of a corridor. The Central Urban Development Authority, with an aim to solve the "growing problems of pollution, congestion and shortage of housing stock for the poor and middle-class in Delhi", approved this policy in 2015.
The proposal will now be sent to the Central housing ministry for a final approval.
What is TOD policy?
The TOD, according to the government, would promote “low-carbon, high-density, compact, mixed land-use and sustainable development by minimising travel time for citizens, promoting use of public transport”. Through TOD, the government also plans to create “more homogeneous neighbourhoods, having work places near residences, creating public amenities within walking distances and providing safe environment through redevelopment along MRTS (Mass-Rapid Transport System) corridors”.
While the debate on the policy and its various provisions goes on, we look at the five key features of the Delhi TOD policy:
- For developing areas along the MRTS — 500 metres of area on both sides, to be known as influential zones — a floor area ratio (FAR) of 4 will be allowed. (FAR is the ratio of the floor area in a building to the area of the plot on which it stands.) However, the TOD norms will not be applicable to areas such as the Lutyens' Bungalow Zone (LBZ), the Civil Lines Bungalow Area, the monument-regulated zone, the zone around the Yamuna and the low-density residential area. In a nutshell, the policy will cover about 20 per cent of the national capital's total area.
- Projects within the influential zone will have to use at least 30 per cent of the FAR for residential use and 20 per cent for commercial and industrial use. The remaining FAR will be used as per the zonal plans of a particular area. Under the residential FAR, all the units will be built in 65 sq mt or less, and half of these should be units ranging between 32 and 40 sq mt. On top of that, an additional FAR of 15 per cent has to be used to build for the economically weaker sections of the society. Through these measures, the government will be able to achieve its goal of Housing for All by 2022 mission. It is to be noted that the MRTS agencies are exempted from following the residential FAR rules.
- To provide housing for all sections of the society, projects along the influential zones would provide a variety of options and promote community living by offering shared spaces and amenities.
- To promote a healthy living, the policy directs 20 per cent of the area under a project to be developed as a green space that will be enjoyed by everyone; while 10 per cent of this could be for exclusive use. A developer constructing a green building on a plot of 5,000 sq mt and above will be allowed an additional FAR.
- Development of car-sale showrooms, automobile repair & servicing shops, banquet halls, LPG godowns, electric substation, bus depot, cremation ground, standalone multi-level parking without on-site mixed use and open ground parking will not be permitted.