Govt waived Village EWS clause,so floor area ratio cut: DDA to HC

Civic body in blame game with Emaar,court asks Ministry to decide on excess FAR.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published:January 25, 2012 12:51 am

In a spot over calculation of the floor area ratio (FAR) at the Commonwealth Games Village complex,the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has told the Delhi High Court that the complex was to have a provision of 15 per cent of the FAR for the economically weaker section (EWS) but the total permissible area was reduced when Emaar MGF was given a waiver by the Central government.

DDA counsel Ajay Verma told the court he had to disclose this fact since Emaar had been claiming that the total permissible FAR was 2,20,000 sq metres and not 2,05,000 sq metres as was being said by the civic body.

The counsel said that Emaar,under the Master Plan 2021,was obligated to reserve 15 per cent of the FAR built in a group housing residential colony for the EWS but the DDA had to bear this responsibility after the builder wrote to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) to get this condition waived. “Emaar wrote a letter to the Central government to waive the condition of 15 per cent EWS and also density criteria,following which the MoUD asked the DDA to sanction the plan accordingly. We thus calculated it as 2,05,000 sq metres in accordance with the relaxation given to them. That is why they (Emaar) cannot now claim that the total permissible area was 2,20,000 sq metres,” Verma said.

The DDA response came after Emaar’s counsel,senior advocate Arvind Nigam,said that as per the Master Plan,2,20,000 sq metres was the permissible limit and if the DDA calculated 5 per cent of this as compoundable area,no demolition would be required.

“Under the rules,DDA can compound excess FAR to the extent of 5 per cent of the total area. Therefore,5 per cent of 2,20,000 sq metres would cover the entire excess construction of around 12,000 sq metres and no demolition would be required,” Nigam said.

Appearing for the MoUD,Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok also emphasised on the Master Plan stipulating 2,20,000 sq metres as the permissible FAR and said that if the facts stated were correct,the Ministry would not even have to intervene. “Moreover,the DDA itself sanctioned 2,20,000 sq metres as permissible FAR in their agreement with Emaar,” the ASG said.

At this,the DDA counsel said Emaar cannot now take refuge under the Master Plan or the sanctioned plan when the civic body was asked to relax the EWS condition and consequently the DDA took it upon itself to provide for 15 per cent EWS in the complex. Justice Hima Kohli decided to go through the sanctioned plan and noted that while the DDA claimed that Emaar earned the relaxation owing to MoUD’s intervention,the documents did not mention these facts or a stipulation.

“It seems you (DDA) took your chances when you did not mention in the agreement that Emaar will not contest the permissible FAR in view of the relaxation they got with respect to the EWS and density,” Justice Kohli said.

The DDA counsel said that at the next date of hearing,he would produce the communication between the MoUD and the DDA on the basis of which the civic body assumed the responsibility of providing houses to the EWS and restricted the FAR to 2,05,000 sq m.

Emaar’s counsel contended that the EWS issue was unnecessarily being raised now.

Justice Kohli asked the MoUD to take into account all the aspects and take a decision on the excess FAR by the next date of hearing in February.

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