Analysis & Reports

By Ajay Dabas

Headline: The modalities of mixed land use


Commercial complexes in residential areas have become more a norm than an oddity. But with Supreme Court cracking the whip on banks running in residential colonies in Noida, it has becomes imperative to understand the right way to lease a property in residential area for commercial usage. According to the Gazette Notification amending Master Plan of Delhi (2001), mixed use of land is allowed in residential areas but with a few riders.


Commercial land use in residential area:

With retail shops most in demand, it would be prudent for the property owner to remember that a retail shop can only be opened on the ground floor. That apart the retail area cannot exceed more than 25 per cent of the ground floor coverage, or 50 square meters of floor area, whichever is less. Also no retail shop which sells hazardous substances or those dealing in building materials, timber, marble, iron, steel, sand, firewood and coal are allowed in residential colonies.

The clause for professional establishments are less stringent and they can be allowed to operate from any floor of the property, provided they only occupy 25 per cent of FAR or 100 square meters, whichever is less.

The SC took a stringent view of the difficulty that residents faced because of banks operating in residential colonies. Nursing homes, guest houses and banks have been permitted in residential plots vide gazette notification dated March 11, 2003. However, they can only be permitted in residential plots which are more than 209 square meters (250 square yards) in size. Plus they plot needs to face minimum 18 meter wide roads (13.5 meter wide in rehabilitation colonies and 9 meter wide roads in walled city or special area).

That apart non-polluting household industries are also allowed in residential areas. They can occupy 25 per cent of floor space, or 30 square meters area, whichever is less.

However, there are certain things which are not allowed at all. With a view to ensure security, safety and environmental quality, of residential areas, the following activities are not allowed:

  • Repair workshop for automobiles, cycle rickshaw, tyre resorting and retreading and battery
  • Service shops like flour mills, fabrication and welding units or anything which uses more than 3 KW power load
  • Storage, godowns and warehouses
  • Manufacturing units (excluding household industry)
  • Junk shops


Structural changes in DDA flats

DDA has framed a comprehensive policy and to allow additions and alterations their flats, which has been approved by the Government of India. Under the policy certain moderations are allowed for which no action will be taken under terms and conditions of allotment.

The things which have been condoned by the DDA are:

  • Existing barsati’s can be converted into a room provided the walls are only 115 mm thick
  • Grills and glazing in verandah have also been allowed provided that they are fixing properly
  •  The height of front and rear courtyard wall can be raised up to 7 feet by using fencing
  • If not already provided a door can be opened in the courtyard
  • Sunshades can be added on doors and windows
  • If the bathroom or WC are not having roof, they may be treated as open urinals and allowed.
  • The wall of balcony, terrace or parapet can be raised to 5 feet, by only using grills
  • Construction of open staircase (cat-ladder) for approach to the terrace
  • Installation of additional PVC water tank, with maximum capacity of 550 litres, has been allowed at ground floor area without disturbing the common passage. The water tank can also be installed in the garage at the surface level
  • Change in flooring and water-proofing has been allowed
  • Ramp can be constructed at the front gate without disturbing the common passage or the storm-water drain
  • False ceiling in rooms can now be incorporated  
  • Opening of maximum size of 2.5 feet X 1.75 feet for exhaust fan or air-conditioner in existing walls
  • Windows can now be converted into an almirah, subject to availability of light and ventilation


While for the above no permissions need to be obtained. For certain changes allotte needs to submit detailed drawings, duly certified by Registered Architect and qualified Structure Engineer, to DDA for permissions. To simplify and expedite the procedure for approvals architects registered with Council of Architecture under Architects Act 1972, have been given the authority to certify these plans for their correctness regarding original construction.

Irrespective of covered area involved a processing fee for building plan of Rs. 200 will be charged. In addition a charge of Rs. 450 per square meter will be levied for additional area that is being proposed for construction. To ensure structural safety and proper construction, a Certificate of Supervision by architect and structural engineer is mandatory, along with an indemnity bond for structural stability. This will not be required by those who have given NOC only. Once the plans with all the documents certified by the architects and structural engineer and fees are submitted, they will be taken on record and treated as permitted.


Changes for which permission needs to be taken include:

  • Construction of bathroom and WC in the rear courtyard
  • Covering of the open terrace with sloping roofs up to 9 feet high fibre glass/AC sheets/sheets/pipes and standard angle iron sections
  • Interchanging the position of kitchen or bathroom and WC. This change is subject to structural safety that is why the consent of all the affected occupants/allottees will need to obtained prior to getting permission
  • Covering of courtyard and roof terrace for which additional FAR charges are to be paid @ Rs. 450 per square meter of additional floor area





Delhi Master Plan 2021 – Being notified shortly?

 By Ruchika Bhardwaj

(Associate-Certes Realty Ltd)


During the first four months of the current calendar year, a few questions were oft repeated during most of the meetings & seminars that we attended.  Most of them obviously had a reference to the revival of the realty sector, and the promises, unfulfilled and yet to be made, by the scrupulous as the not so well meaning.


a)    Are we headed to a hung parliament?

b)    If a government is formed with majority, would the agenda be any different for the incoming urban development & housing ministries?

c)    Would it impact the real estate prices in Delhi NCR?

d)    How soon do we expect changes, if any?


The first question was answered by the resounding win by the congress. We finally had a stable government which “promised to deliver differently”.


Mr. Jaipal Reddy being sworn in as the urban development minister was an indication towards the government’s intent of continuity and speed. Ms. Selja’s appointment as the minister for Housing & poverty alleviation was another ‘leg-up’ for the change in positive attitude.


Everyone was keen to know on the constitution / functioning of the ministry, the agenda and the foreseeable results. We too have been anxious to know the logical direction of the Delhi master plan 2021, as we believe that would be the singular factor to drive down the already increased and unsustainable pricing prevalent in the NCR region.


We huddled together in the first week of July’09 to analyze the prevalent & likely trends, price points, ground level realities, administration – political & bureaucratic, and most of all, the first 100 days agenda of the ministry of urban development, as well as the Ministry of Housing & Poverty alleviation, which would be a key indicator for the strategic direction of the MPD 2021 (Delhi master plan).


We rummaged through a lot of reference materials, including transcripts of debates in the Parliament & Assembly, various notifications, draft master plans, the expert committees constituted for Lal Dora / others.


Here is the good news. The first 100 day agenda of the Ministry or Urban development.  Let me re-produce relevant portions of it, before we get down to the analysis of the same.


Press release – Monday, June 29th, 2009     18:52 Hrs


100 day agenda for action of Ministry of Urban development unveiled



Point # 15          Matters relating to the Delhi Master Plan 2021


“The Delhi Master Plan 2021 envisages involvement of private sector in the development of land and provision of infrastructure services as an improvement over the current scheme of large-scale development and acquisition of land entrusted to the Delhi Development Agency (DDA).  Focused efforts will be made to finalize the policy. Every effort will be made to finalize the Zonal Development Plans of Delhi”.


Our Observation: The draft master plan of Delhi 2021 was notified vide S.O no. 141 dated 07.02.2007 and published in the Gazette of India. Post that, there wasn’t much action on the ground level. Many an investors, developers and home buyers are waiting in the wings, money ready, to grab land parcels when the zonal & ward plans would be notified. This clear indication would definitely motivate them.

On the other hand, this news would be a major dampener for the real estate investment scenario of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad, Sonepat, Bhiwadi etc. Let us not forget that these markets (excepting Gurgaon to some extent) mushroomed since Delhi (read DDA) did not ensure that the supply was in any way commensurate to the demand. Delhi’s projected housing demand is in excess of 1 million homes.


Point # 16          Real Estate Regulator for Delhi


Real Estate Management (Regulation & Control) Bill for NCT of Delhi will be taken up for decision.


Our observation: A right step in the right direction, however, one needs to be too big an optimist to see this implemented in a hurry. Also, let’s not forget that real estate being a state subject; we won’t really see uniformity a la other sectors like Telecom (TRAI) etc.


However, we also referred to office order # o-17034/18/2009-H dated 19th Feb’ 09 with the subject –“setting up of a committee to give a final shape to the model bill for regulation in real estate”.


Point # 17          Building up 65, 000 houses by the DDA in next four years


In order to meet acute shortage of houses for urban poor, economically weaker sections and lower income groups of city of Delhi, construction of about 40,000 houses will be taken up. Tender documents for construction of such houses have already been made ready with fast mode of construction adopting pre-fabricated technology. Here, about 10, 000 houses are phased to be completed every year from the year 2010 onwards.


In addition to above, about 10,000 houses for middle-income group will be taken up on the same technology of pre-fabricated construction in four years’ time in phases.


Apart from the above, about 15, 000 houses will be completed (ongoing projects) in various phases. These houses will be constructed on conventional technology and these will be available from the year 2009 to 2011.


Our observation: There seems to be a positive movement on the ground, with some projects already underway, esp. towards Bakkarwala etc. DDA already is in possession of land parcels which can reduce the timelines. That is another point of consideration when we deduce that the current pricing levels of NCR markets would see another round of correction, when the Delhi supplies are unveiled. Our deduction is that the entry level product pricing, for mid-end housing would be reduced to < 20 lakhs, compared to the 30+ today. 


The notification of the Delhi master plan 2021 would be a precursor to many a systemic changes that we are likely to see in the India real estate industry. The draft policy of “land assembly……” vide order No.F.3 (53) 2003/MP and published on the DDA website vide letter no. CEO/EL.G/102 (14) / 2009 date 11.04.09 is a departure from earlier times. Let me refer to a couple of them to highlight the attitudinal shift.


–       MPD 2021 acknowledges that with the necessity for creation of infrastructure to support growth of the city at this scale, the present policy of large scale development and acquisition and its relevance in the present context needs a thorough relook. Also to involve the private sector in the assembly and development of land and provisions of infrastructure services.

–       It is necessary to review and reconsider the current scheme of large scale land acquisition, development and disposal by DDA.

–       Guiding principles 4.1 page 03 – Govt. / DDA to act as a facilitator with minimum intervention to facilitate integrated planned development.

–       Page 07 – clause 9.1 – FAR permissible on the gross residential use in the assembled pockets – 200 ( higher than Gurgaon which is @ 175)

–       FAR to be earmarked for the EWS component over & above the FAR of 200: 30 (15%)

The notification of Delhi master plan 2021, and its integration with the other agencies & watchdogs of culture, heritage etc. is extremely critical owing to the many national & international events and schedules in Delhi, over the next few years.


The intentions expressed by the various arms of the government over the past few months are indeed encouraging, and, we feel vindicated over our stand and effort invested over the past few years.


“We wait, to involve, and develop, aspirations of Delhi-ites”.


The author, Ruchika Bhardwaj, is an associate of Certes Realty Limited, a realty investment advisory organization focused on the Delhi & Gurgaon master plans 2021. She can be contacted on However, the views expressed are of the author, and no claims whatsoever are being made through the observations




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